Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/02/13/bt_outage_cable_theft/

Cable thieves wreak havoc for cops, BT punters

Biz customers in Hertfordshire hit by outage

By Kelly Fiveash

Posted in Small Biz, 13th February 2012 10:39 GMT

BT customers in Hertfordshire suffered lengthy outages late last week, after the national telco's underground cabling in that area was apparently targeted by thieves.

One El Reg reader, who uses BT's business broadband, complained about the company's "incoherent response" to requests for an explanation about the downtime.

"Obviously every provider will have outages from time to time. What customers want is accurate information and not to be misled," he told us.

According to local news reports, Hertfordshire Constabulary's control room was also hit by the downtime.

Police officers, whose control centre will be tasked with dealing with some of the Olympics 2012 events, including the canoeing event at Lee Valley, were forced to shift over to a backup line while BT engineers struggled to fix the cabling.

Our reader said his business was without broadband and phone lines for nearly two days.

"We have suffered cuts to underground cabling in an apparent attempted cable theft which is affecting some services in the area at the moment. Engineers have been onsite and urgently working in very difficult conditions to assess the damage and to start to work on repairs," a BT spokesman told The Register late on Friday evening.

"We are doing all we can to get this work completed to start to restore service as quickly as we possibly can."

It's understood that the problem was resolved by around midday on Saturday. ®