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UPDATE2 Storm Causes Broadband and Power Problems in South UK

Monday, October 28th, 2013 (11:01 am) - Score 916

The St Jude’s Day storm, which has this morning crashed its way across the southern and midlands region of England and Wales (United Kingdom), has so far left over 200,000 homes without power and an unknown number have also lost their broadband and telephone connectivity. Not to mention mass travel disruption.

The storm battered some areas with hurricane force winds that in places gusted up to 99mph (Isle of Wight). Naturally this has resulted in significant disruption, felling trees and telegraph poles across the area. A few spells of localised flooding have done little to help matters.

At this early stage we still don’t know the full extent of the damage but a few ISPs have already noticed a decline in broadband connections, which appears to be focused on the southern half of England where the storm hit hardest of all. Many of these issues are likely to be linked to power supply problems and damaged cables.

More as we get it..

UPDATE 10:55am

A spokesperson for BT’s Consumer and Business division told ISPreview.co.uk that the situation wasn’t as bad as feared, although “a number of exchanges are relying on generators as normal power has been lost in several areas.”

UPDATE 12:08pm

Cable operator Virgin Media informs that its network has managed to escape fairly unscathed, which is largely due to most of it being built underground. The spokesperson also told us that “debris and travel disruption may cause delays for our engineers who are doing their best to get to customers so we ask those waiting for a visit to please bear with us and we apologise if it takes longer than we’d anticipated“.

UPDATE 29th October 2013

BTOpenreach has issued warnings for the following areas where critical repair work will be prioritised over new line provisions.

Openreach ‘Measures Beyond Our Reasonable Control’ Areas
•Cambridge
•Colchester and Ipswich
•Hemel
•Southend
•Romford
•East Downs
•Central Downs
•West Downs (including the Isle of Wight)
•Esher
•Croydon
•Crayford
•Reading
•Maidenhead
•Southampton
•Bournemouth
•Taunton
•Guildford

Leave a Comment
9 Responses
  1. Avatar dragoneast

    Storm “crashed”? Hardly. I think it’s just that now spending so much time in front of our screens we’ve forgotten what the real world is like. Autumnal (and spring) winds are nothing new, just the ground isn’t usually as soggy or the trees in leaf to the extent they are this year. So a bit of elementary physics might help to explain. Instead . . . public PANIC, the default English mode for everything if we can’t do what we want when we want. Mind you, hyping everyone up is such good fun isn’t it!! The next crisis is on its way . . .

    • I take from that you are lucky enough to live in an area where the storm passed in a fairly uneventful way like most seasonal events. Sadly the situation is not the same everywhere.. some of my neighbours houses have what look to be fairly serious damage and the local roads seem to almost all be blocked by something or other. Broadband by way of mobile this morning.

    • Avatar DTMark

      Lots of fallen trees (North East Hampshire). A few roads partially blocked. I can’t speak for the landline services but the mobile tower didn’t blow away.

      Incredibly, despite the fact we get four or more power cuts a year here, the power stayed on all night.

      Otherwise nowhere near as, er, “spectacular” as was touted. Damage seems very localised. I’d have thought the roads would be fairly quite today as the message being given to everyone in the news seemed to be “take the day off”.

    • Avatar DTMark

      I spoke too soon. After we thought we’d escaped the night unscathed, the power went off at 14:30 and didn’t come back until 18:30 🙁

  2. Avatar dragoneast

    No, the local roads are blocked, all trains cancelled, we’ve had a power cut, and a significant roof blew off a commercial building. But I’m old enough to remember that this is normal for an English winter (in historical terms). And I grew up without a mobile phone too. Yes, I’m lucky.

  3. Avatar dragoneast

    I assume that much of the damage is down to the absence of tree pruning which used to be an annual activity, for precisely this reason. Now thanks to Preservation Orders and eco-mentalism (encouraged by penny-pinching) it’s been abolished. And that pretty modern cladding stuff doesn’t appear to stand up (literally) too well, either. All in the name of beauty (skin deep, as usual). Ugly phone towers, well the wind blows through or round them rather than blows them over. That’s engineering for you. At least some of the worst rotting infrastructure will at last fall down and hopefully get replaced. It might be its only chance.

  4. Avatar JNeuhoff

    “At least some of the worst rotting infrastructure will at last fall down and hopefully get replaced.” Wishful thinking. BT keeps fixing old dangling copper wires again and again, must cost them a fortune in our area.

  5. Avatar Matt

    @dragoneast
    l disagree, usually more leaves have fell by now being autumn trees have usually gotten rid of a majority of leaves by now however due to the strange weather this year allot more trees down south still have allot of leaves on them which meant more wind resistance, that coupled with the fact there has been much rain made it allot easier for the wind to blow down quite a few trees..

    thankfully tho despite the amber warning in herefordshire it was a very uneventful night despite the heavy rain we got.. however lm following a thread over on netweather, and there seems to be a distinct possibility of another storm next weekend, not looking forward to the possibility as it looks now from weather charts it could be more of a western even, l just pray its not as bad as some say it looks in the charts.. time will tell l guess.

  6. If you, or someone you know needs temp broadband and Wi-Fi please call my number – 08002989368 or 07909916058, Cheers Stephen Roberts

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