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Hull ISP KC Moves to Fix Copper Broadband Faults Caused by Water Ingress

Friday, December 28th, 2012 (8:16 am) - Score 1,127

One of KC’s engineers in Hull (Yorkshire, England) has developed a “simple and innovative” way to fix broadband problems that are caused when water (damp) seeps into the plastic coating of copper cables, which can disrupt traditional DSL (e.g. ADSL) services by causing corrosion of the phone line.

The ISP claims that over 80 telephone faults each month are caused by such problems, which can also impact customers on BT’s network and at an extreme can trigger the total failure of both phone and broadband connectivity.

Now one of the ISPs engineers, Ian Shepherdson, claims to have come up with a way to “fix the problem” and save KC “thousands of pounds each month“. The solution involves a simple plastic plate that “fits behind the existing capping covering a connection point, forming a protective barrier between the brickwork on a property and the copper cable“. Best of all it only costs 30p to make.

Andy Whale, KCs Director of Engineering, said:

The simplest ideas are often the best, and this is a great example of someone identifying a problem then coming up with a simple and effective way to solve it.

Customers rely on their phone and broadband services, and we’re continually looking for ways to reduce faults and increase reliability on our network.

I’m particularly pleased that this is a totally home-grown solution, developed by one of our employees and produced by another local company.”

So far KC claims to have installed 1,500 of the plates and thousands more will be targeted towards “the worst-affected locations over the next year“. It should also be said that BT’s network is not necessarily strictly comparable with KC’s and thus the same solution may not apply.

On top of that there can be other potential points where water could damage copper cables and thus we’d be surprised if this was a total solution to the overall problem. Never the less it’s good to see such a small but significant change, although critics would perhaps argue that an even better solution might be to replace the old copper with pure fibre optic lines (KC are busy doing that too but it’s not 100% fibre [FTTP and FTTC]).

Leave a Comment
1 Response
  1. Avatar Telecom Engineer says:

    Oh ick. I understand the principle but this is a bodge to fix a bodge, not such an issue for bt as any cables jointed behind the capping as described here at the house will have the top square removed and a proper connection box installed ontop on sight. The capping is used by bt but the method is to hide the cable behind the capping and take the ug feed into the rear of the master socket inside the house.
    Funnily enough though i did have an earth fault yesterday because someone had bodged by jointing behind the capping, fixed as described with a connection box and reterm, however its the first one ive had in 2 years, then again, this is not prevelant in our network round here.

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