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UPD Thieves Cut Broadband and Phone Services to the Shetland Islands

Thursday, Jun 21st, 2012 (8:40 am) - Score 718

The remote Shetland Islands have this week been hit by a double whammy of BT communication problems after copper cable thieves in the North of England (UK) cut a vital fibre optic link that disrupted services to the island for two days. A separate problem at the Aberdeen (Scotland) exchange then knocked out the local coastguard communication system.

According to the Shetland News, local Coastguard volunteers had to man hills across the isles, which is a last resort for identifying shipping emergencies via portable radio equipment. The fault, which occurred at 11.45pm on Tuesday, was eventually fixed at 7.15am on Wednesday morning.

As an added frustration the government recently closed a vital Lerwick station, which was setup to cover for just such an emergency. A coastguard spokesman said, “Our argument against the government closing the Lerwick station was in case of something like this. If this sort of thing happened there would be nothing here.” BT has also apologised for the outage.

UPDATE 18th July 2012

The coastguard communication links were down for 2-3 hours yet again on Monday of this week following a BT fault on the UK mainland.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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