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UPDATE3 Rodents Knock Out Broadband and Phone Services in South London

Friday, August 11th, 2017 (7:34 am) - Score 1,648
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A number of major broadband and phone providers (e.g. Sky Broadband and TalkTalk) have been affected in central South London after several core fibre optic cables were “damaged” by hungry rodents, which has kept thousands of customers offline since last night.

The problems appear to have started at around 9pm last night, although complaints subsided a few hours later as people went to bed. The outage is currently affecting a number of major areas including TULSE HILL, BALHAM, BRIXTON, NINE ELMS, STREATHAM, DULWICH, VAUXHALL, SOUTH CLAPHAM, FOREST HILL and BATTERSEA.

Unfortunately many will wake up this morning to find that their internet connection still hasn’t been restored. The good news is that engineers have been working through the night to resolve the breakage but so far none of the affected ISPs have been able to offer a clear ETA for the completed fix.

UPDATE 9:24am

Sky has just confirmed that the cause of this fault is “the work of rodents” (they must have been really hungry rats to eat through armoured fibre optic cables). We’re of course only assuming that it’s the fault of rats, although lots of other mammals come under the ‘rodents’ title but rats are usually the main culprit. It’s either that or Wombles, the Wombles of Wimbledon.. wombling free, naturally.

Some people also reference politicians as rodents so we might as well add them to the list too.

UPDATE 9:59am

The damaged cable appears to be owned by cable operator Virgin Media.

UPDATE 10:29am

Sky reports that the problem has been resolved. The following is what Sky told us after the event.

ยท There was a Sky Broadband and Sky Talk outage that affected an area in South London on the 10th and 11th August

ยท This was a result of rodent damage which caused a physical break to fibres, causing broadband and call services to go down at 9.25pm

ยท Engineers were at the scene by 11.00pm to fix the problem, and full service was back up and running and fully operational by 10.00am on the 11th

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Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he is also the founder of ISPreview since 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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11 Responses
  1. TheFacts

    Fibre optic cables in ducts will not be ‘armoured’.

    • 3G Infinity

      … but the rodents are armoured and presumably escaped scot free

    • wirelesspacman

      The critters could, of course, have been nibbling away at the cable for years and only just now got sufficiently far to do some real damage.

  2. Optimist

    When the cat videos are away, the mice will play…

  3. Cecil Ward

    How do we stop this from simply happening again and again? Underground Cat Force?

    • Joe

      Just use 5 Cat cabling? ๐Ÿ˜€

    • nomnom

      Perhaps diversely uplink each FTTC cab to two fibre parents, rather than daisy-chain as the LLU providers did many years ago and have little motivation to remediated now those assets are being sweated ….

  4. Raymond Woodward

    The simplest way (not sure about how easy it would be) would be to coat the cables with rat poison as they’re laid …

  5. Mike

    Corbyn can solve this problem once he gets in power, I bet Venuezuelan fibre cabinets are rat free or at least soon will be ๐Ÿ˜‰

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