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Olympic cock-up knocks East London off Internet

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Businesses and customers in East London were still without internet and phone service this morning after Olympic contractors dug through a fibre optic cable.

Contractors working on an Olympic venue near Stratford, east London, dug through the fibre optic cable on Saturday knocking a BT exchange at Old Street offline.

One of the sites hit was Jobserve - the site is still down at the time of writing and is hosting an apology (pdf) from supplier Telstra International.

Workmen were using boring equipment some 32 metres below the surface when they hit the cable at about 2.00pm on Saturday. The company said its supplier had engineers working to fix the break. But "because of the difficulties in exposing the site and making it safe, the actual task of repair may run beyond the weekend".

TI apologised to customers who were told to call customer support but warned that "increased calls may result in a delay in answering".

BT said:

BT can confirm that, following significant damage by a third party to cables in a deep underground tunnel, a large number of customers in parts of East London are currently experiencing a loss of service. BT's engineers are working around the clock to restore service as quickly as possible. BT would like to apologise to all impacted customers.

Service has been restored to a significant number of customers, including police and other emergency customers, commercial customers and other communications provider circuits using alternative methods of connection. BT engineering teams are working to restore service to all remaining customers without service.

Given the complexity of the damage suffered, it is not yet possible to accurately predict when all services will be restored.

BT will issue further updates as the situation changes.

A spokeswoman for the Met Police was unaware of any problems.

Thanks to the Register readers who emailed us. ®

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