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Cable Breaks Trigger Big Sky Broadband Outages in South London

Monday, Aug 3rd, 2015 (8:41 am) - Score 1,471

Customers of Sky Broadband, specifically those who live in some big parts of southern London, have had a chaotic weekend after several major fibre optic cable breaks hit the network and disrupted Internet + phone connectivity for a sizeable number of subscribers.

The first Major Service Outage (MSO) occurred at around midday on Saturday and affected customers across Balham, Battersea, Brixton, South Clapham, Nine Elms, Streatham, Tulse Hill and Vauxhall. Apparently a key fibre optic capacity supply cable was damaged in Brixton (often this occurs as a result of unrelated third-party street works) and the cable wasn’t repaired until around 9am on Sunday morning.

A closer inspection reveals that the break happened on Coldharbour Lane and digging deeper we noticed that contractors working for Lambeth London Borough Council are currently at work improving the Footway, although it’s unclear whether or not they are the responsible party.

Unfortunately that incident was almost immediately followed by another when a Thamesway telephone exchange suffered an outage during early Sunday afternoon, which impacted connectivity for those living near to or around the Surrey area. A second similar indicated also occurred near to the Woking exchange.

Once again these incidents were traced back to damaged fibre optic cables and the repair work was predicted to continue through last night. At the time of writing Sky has yet to provide an update for the Thamesway issue.

Meanwhile we’re still seeing plenty of reports about disruption to local services as a result of the Woking break, with those in Redhill being quite vocal. Sky initially claimed to have resolved this specific issue, but clearly some customers disagree and the service status page has now been updated to reflect its on-going nature.

Neil Jones said (Facebook):

In Redhill. Sky’s website reporting no fault. Considering it is the same as yesterday and the other posts I think they should be updating their service information? Perhaps they are hoping people won’t notice? Considering the calls for compensation yesterday I think they aren’t being quick it acknowledging it.”

Mahesh Ramanna said (Facebook):

Still no Sky Broadband and Sky Talk since late last night in Redhill. Now Deadhill.”

Simon Hunter-Jones said (Facebook):

Problems still in Camberley. Can’t get any work done, I’ll be billing sky at this rate!

In fairness major cable breaks are never an easy fix and there’s no magic wand that can be waved in order to quickly resolve such incidents, it’s just a case of knuckling down and getting the job done as fast as possible.

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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