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

Friday, Dec 28th, 2012 (8:16 am) - Score 1,311

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]).

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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