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Fibre Optic Cable Breaks Cause Major Broadband Woes for Multiple UK ISPs

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015 (7:35 am) - Score 3,317

A significant number of Internet users across various parts of the England, particularly in and around the English West Midlands and South Coast areas, have suffered a night of slow broadband performance and connectivity woes. Most of these issues appear to be caused by a string of fibre optic cable breaks.

Customers of Sky Broadband were among the first to be hit after Internet performance began to collapse around the Hampshire and Dorset areas during yesterday afternoon, which was caused by third party excavation work that broke through one of the operators major fibre optic capacity cables. Work to resolve this issue is still on-going.

Meanwhile Virgin Media’s customers spent the night suffering from similar problems after they too also suffered a major break with one of their fibre optic capacity cables in Gloucester, which affected a wide area including many parts of Cardiff and Birmingham that run along the same core link.

A good number of other ISPs, such as TalkTalk, Zen Internet and Entanet, also make use of Virgin Media for some of their capacity and have reported related troubles. Luckily connectivity was restored for most, albeit at a reduced performance, by temporarily re-routing some of the data traffic.

As I type this we’re just being told that partial repairs to VM’s core link have now completed, although it may take a few more hours before traffic returns to normal and the problem is fully fixed. Sadly it’s not uncommon for third-party contractors to accidentally break through vital cables.

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Mark Jackson
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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. Avatar dragon says:

    The Virgin cable break actually took out some VM cable connections completely, it looked like the Cable Modem/SuperHub was unable to pull down it’s config if it had been restarted and was then being denied network access, presumably couldn’t reach the provisioning servers.

  2. Avatar FibreFred says:

    Where are the usual cries of redundant cable routes etc that you’d be getting if this were BT fibre?

    No takers? 😉

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