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UPD Botched BT Telegraph Pole Install Cuts Fibre Broadband for Lancashire

Saturday, Nov 24th, 2012 (2:08 am) - Score 1,925

Several Lancashire based broadband ISPs, including LonsdaleNET, B4RN, TalkTalk and others, suffered a serious loss of internet connectivity that lasted for over 10 hours between Tuesday and Wednesday after BTOpenreach engineers accidentally cut through a vital GEO fibre optic cable.

The “Major Incident“, which began at just after 3pm on Tuesday (20th November 2012), was apparently caused after Openreach’s attempt to install a new Telegraph Poleon top of the network” near Burnley Road in Accrington ended up cutting right through the operators vital cable.

GEO’s Incident Report said:

The damage appears to be 12ft away from the pole position, leading us to the assumption that the pole was placed and probably realised damage had been caused and then relocated it a short distance away.

A new length of cable (approx. 300m) will be installed between the adjacent chambers.”

Local services have now been restored and GEO are understood to have raised a case with BT, which will require a joint site visit to “assess how this problem could have occurred and to make sure future instances cannot occur“.

UPDATE 7th December 2012

It took awhile but GEO finally gave us an official statement.

GEO Statement

On Tuesday 20th November Geo Networks (Geo) responded to multiple customer fault reports and network monitoring alarms, indicating a problem with a core 96 fibre cable route between our Manchester and Preston locations. Geo’s incident management process was instigated, triggering full mobilisation of resource to locate and restore services supported by a customer engagement plan managed from the Network Operation Centre.

The fault was narrowed to a remote location in the Huncoat area of Great Harwood and work progressed quickly to restore service.

During the identification and restoration process it was clear that the cause of the issue had been due to the installation of a telegraph pole by a third party adjacent to our network. It appears that on the first attempt at installation, our network had been damaged and the grounds reinstated, as the final installation was situated only inches away. Geo had not received any prior notice of the proposed works nor any correspondence from the third party informing of the damage to our infrastructure.

Geo prides itself on its service level performance excellence, owing to both the fundamental design and build of the Geo fibre network and the excellent operational relationships and processes established that underpin a successful service delivery model. All agreements and systems are built to manage end to end solutions seamlessly and to provide consistent SLAs across the entire network. When an incident such as this does occur, Geo’s comprehensive customer service offering allows our customers the transparency, responsiveness and performance that they expect and deserve.

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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