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500 Glasgow Premises Without Broadband After Arson Attack UPDATE

Saturday, April 25th, 2020 (8:17 am) - Score 5,609
Fire sparks particles with flames isolated on black background.

Stupid is as stupid does,” said the great philosopher Forest Gump. In keeping with that somebody, most likely one of the “mindless” COVID-19 conspiracy theorists, has decided to burn key fixed line broadband ISP and phone cables in part of Glasgow during a pandemic, thus leaving 500 people without connectivity.

According to the Evening Express, lids for two footway boxes containing vital telecoms cables in Springboig Avenue (Cranhill) were attacked – using flammable liquid – between Thursday night and Friday morning. At present it is unclear precisely why any sane person would do such a thing during a major health crisis, but similar attacks have been connected back to an absurd conspiracy theory that falsely links the spread of COVID-19 to 5G mobile (here and here).

Naturally if somebody is misguided enough to believe those theories then they’re also stupid enough to think that consumer fixed line broadband and phone services are part of the same thing, despite being fundamentally different technologies, infrastructure and often with different backhaul connections for capacity too. Nevertheless we have seen plenty of vandalism against street cabinets due to this too, which beggars belief.

As a result Openreach (BT) has had to put its key workers at further risk during a pandemic by asking them to congregate together in order to fix the problem so that vital communication services can be restored.

Fraser Rowberry, Openreach’s Service Director for Scotland, said:

“This was a mindless attack deliberately committed to cause disruption to people’s services. It was done with absolutely no consideration for the potential impact on residents – who may well include vulnerable or elderly residents, businesses trying to keep going during the lockdown and families juggling work and home schooling.

Our front-line engineers in Scotland are designated as key workers and they are on the case working on repairs. Unfortunately this means additional people and vehicles congregating in the area – the repairs are extremely challenging bearing in mind current restrictions.”

Most of the problem has now been resolved, although at the last update it was noted that some of the work was expected to last into this weekend. Meanwhile there are still cases of engineers being threatened with violence and, in some cases, physically assaulted while doing their jobs, even when that work has nothing whatsoever to even do with 5G and is vital in order to keep the country moving.

We’ve recently heard from some engineers working for other operators are now taking discreet body cameras out with them for fear of being assaulted and to help catch those involved if happens. In the meantime anybody with information about the above crime are being advised to contact the police.

UPDATE 28th April 2020

The Police are also known to be investigating a second incident over the weekend in Hollowglen Road, which is just half a mile from Springboig Avenue.

A Police Spokesperson said:

“Police were called to two incidents of wilful fire-raising to phone cables in Glasgow on Friday, 24 April, 2020.

The first incident happened around 9.05am on Springboig Avenue and the second on Hollowglen Road around 11.55am.

Inquiries are ongoing to trace those responsible and anyone with any information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101 quoting incident 0726 of 24 April, 2020.”

A reward of £1,000 is also being offered by Crimestoppers Scotland for any information that leads to an arrest of those responsible. You can respond to that anonymously via their online form or by calling free on 0800 555 111.

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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.
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26 Responses
  1. David says:

    Looks like the youths who set it on fire will be doing without the Xbox tonight.

    1. Lewis says:

      Annoyingly if they set the E side cables alight the FTTC would keep their broadband going so they’ll be quite happy with themselves. Morons.

    2. Leex says:

      I am aware of at least 1 “radio sensitivity” person

      Trust me it is not likely teenagers (just look at the age of the people on YouTube who are making this crap up, well the YouTube videos that are still up)

      they tend to be over 40-50’s and very technophobe and belive holographic stickers can protect them from “radiation” (they have one on every electronic device) and probably a copper lined earthed bed linings and some sort of radiation protection band (maybe one if the dangerous bands that have white power based radioactive material in them)

      People selling these products have a money interest in having these scare things up

      If you know of anyone who is in this type of person please report them to the police (fairly certain the one I know is harmless as he also likes to pretend he can’t walk for long as well)

    3. Pezza says:

      @Leex, yeah and all the while using the internet, I’ve seen these idiots.

    4. Mike says:

      Doesn’t this sort of stuff happen in Scotland on a regular basis anyways?

    5. stewart says:

      No Mike, No it doesn’t grow up!

  2. Optimist says:

    I hope their mobile phones stop working as a result.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Oh the little darlings, their parents must be very proud of them, including their Grandparents, I’m sure they happily approve.

  4. John Boris says:

    The parents don’t give a hoot I’ll wager.

    1. Anonymous says:

      It’s a little hard to keep track of all 10 children.

    2. 125us says:

      Quite a presumption that it’s kids.

  5. Pezza says:

    The sheer selfish utter total stupidity of people who do things like this is not believable at all, because it’s at such an utterly high level. They say humans have evolved, people like this and those who believe the earth is still, or that injecting disinfectant cures a virus, or believe Covid 19 is caused by 5G, really begs to differ on that theory…

  6. Marty says:

    Typical jam butty eaters. The lowest from of humanity

    1. Marty says:


  7. Matt says:

    Hmm, interesting that a majority assume its the kids… Anyway.

    Openreach should provsion phone services only and let the community feel the burn for a few days atleast, like switch back on Monday morning.

    I know in my area this wouldn’t fly, but it wouldn’t happen either because people know this sort of thing wouldn’t fly.

    1. Timeless says:

      l noticed that too, dont get me wrong it could have been kids until an investigation has been done we wont know for certain.

      however it kind of bothers me that most time vandalism happens its always assumed to be kids when its just as likely misinformed adults could have committed the crime, assumptions can be a very bad thing because if you tar a generation too much eventually they will live up to the expectations they are painted with.

      suffice to say wait to point fingers as its not helping.

  8. Groucho says:

    So, it’s not clear who did this, just as it’s not clear who is burning the 5G towers. I remember my wife commenting (a mere woman!) when bombs were going off in Ireland. As she said, how do we know who set the bomb off? There are a lot of strange things happening at the moment, and if we only have the mainstream media to keep us informed, we are not going to learn much. We then have 77 Brigade working to keep us on the straight and narrow. It pays to look at some different sources of information before making your mind up.

    1. Optimist says:

      Large windows used to be a favourite target. Of course the fact that taxpayers funded replacements, thus keeping the local glazing industry going, was pure coincidence.

  9. dumdum says:

    You can blame the media for hyping things up and there is nothing like fear to make a stupid person more stupid. Upwards of 28,000 people in prior years have died from Influenza (that is from a government PDF document) The hys-edia do not report that though so the soft headed do not fear the more common cold and flu as much.

    Assuming it is “kids” is also just more typical soft headed-ness. God bless this country.

    1. CarlT says:


      Seems quite reasonable to be more concerned about SARS-COV-2 than seasonal flu.

      There was a bunch of stupidity when 4G was becoming a thing. Ditto 3G. Can’t fix stupid.

    2. Jamiul says:

      That link proves what he stated over 28,000 people have at one stage died from common flu. It could be argued the common Flu is more dangerous considering we have vaccines and booster jabs for that, and have done for at least 10 years. In 10 years the common flu has and is likely to continue to kill far more people in the next 10 years than COV2 will.

      Couple that with the facts that the majority of deaths from COV2 which are being reported are not necessarily from COV2 but other medical conditions. You can be a carrier of the COV2 virus and have no symptoms and it not affect you in the slightest. Yet if you die tomorrow of say a bad Asthma attack and your blood tests positive for COV2 then your death is being reported by the media and hospital stats as a COV2 “with underlying health condition” death.

      If you look into things even more a strain of Avian influenza which we had a spell of a few years back had a mortality rate of over 50% if you were unlucky enough to get that.

      Compared to the more common strains of flu we typically catch and now COV2, that has a mortality rate of 5-10% (depending on country for COV2 and year you catch the more normal flu).

      The media or as he more aptly called it hys-edia did not report on that for in-excess of 6 weeks continually. More importantly there are still potential outbreaks of Avian Influenza around the world right at this minute (go google it to see where Chickens etc are still having to be killed to hope to prevent outbreaks), have your heard a single thing about it though from the beeb and the other fear mongers though, err NOPE and that disease has actually prior evidence that it is far more deadly.

      Stupid people are stupid, please do not become one through fear mongering.

    3. dumdum says:

      ^^^ Pretty much what i would respond with.

    4. CarlT says:

      As someone so into facts and research I would recommend a read of https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/839350/Surveillance_of_influenza_and_other_respiratory_viruses_in_the_UK_2018_to_2019-FINAL.pdf which pretty much blows away most of your points.

      A really funny one actually is that on one hand we’ve people claiming doctors have been ordered to blame SARS-COV-2 for every death that could possibly be related, on the other we have people claiming they are pretending it isn’t the cause of death. Goes well with the apparent assertion it is being treated differently from seasonal flu to be alarmist.

      It isn’t. Some deaths are attributed to flu based on modelling, not it being definitive cause. This can’t be done for SARS-COV-2 so the numbers aren’t comparable. The differences in testing don’t help either.

      However while you’re at it have a look at the excess mortality rates and watch them going up as things progress and the numbers become clearer. Google PHE Weekly All Cause Mortality Report. The deaths reported for SARS-COV-2 have until recently been hospital only. The excess mortality numbers will give us the facts and I suspect, given the flu numbers are annual while we’re only a couple of months into SARS-COV-2, comparison is absurd.

      Sometimes following the scientific consensus isn’t being a sheep. Sometimes ignoring it isn’t being some kind of free thinker, it’s just being ignorant.

      Either way I’ll pass on rolling the dice given how much more we have left to learn. I look forward to lockdown being progressively eased starting next month and in the interim will remain alert but not alarmed.

      The TL;DR is we won’t have the full facts for many months so in the interim it is essential that we are cautious. If caution makes me a sheep so be it. Better a sheep than a corpse or an infection vector for family.


    5. Jamiul says:

      Your new link AGAIN confirms from around page 50 onward there has in prior years been upwards of 28,000 deaths from regular strains of Influenza. It also confirms depending on strain the varieties of Avian have mortality rates of 30 to over 50%.

      For what it is worth i work in the NHS in a reasonably senior position i currently have 3 junior doctors and double figure nursing staff who report to me. So i happen to know a little about what is going on and being manipulated.

      A junior staff members was approached last week by an Trust manager to sign off on the passing of a young man. Firstly juniors are not allowed to do this and secondly they were trying to get them to sign this death as COV2 related when in actual fact it was caused by an epileptic seizure followed by head injury which ocured while they were riding a motorcycle. Toxicology (done as a matter of course now for any RTA) showed no alcohol. Bizarrely and totally unnecessarily the deceased by someone at some point in the chain (no doubt again by trust management) had also at the same time been tested for COV2. The result for this was inconclusive (IE the test was unable to give a positive or negative reading). Because of this parasite managers tried to get it signed off as a COV2 related case.

      Now you may ask why this happened, and you may also thinks it makes no sense. You would be wrong. What is actually happening here and in many cases like this is Trust management know the more deaths they can chalk up to COV2 at this moment in time the more funding and equipment their hospitals get, this means shiny new ventilators, more beds, more PPE, more ancillary medical equipment (syringes etc). This in turn means once this “pandemic” is all over with (and it will be come July, probably before trust me on that) Then the more excess equipment and money the trust has (or less they have to spend) from their budget in the coming years.

      It is so bad (and i have seen this) that hospitals (or rather trust) are also taking cases which are actual COV2, the trust is then giving the government a weekly figure of how many cases they are having to deal with (IE inflate the figures to make it look like you need more money and more equipment) before the patient (if they are still alive) is “transferred” to another hospital operated under a different trust for them to do the same again and repeat.

      Young nurses and doctors you are seeing on the news saying they do not have enough PPE are in many (NOT all i grant) cases being told to do that by trusts. Why else do you think what is often a low ranked nurse which may only be in their first year or so of the medical field is happy to go on nationwide media totally openly. If they did that any other time (IE to moan about any other standard) they would be out the door. Instead though trusts are using staff to manipulate.

      The Nightingale hospitals which were setup at the beginning of this were unnecessary, senior doctors (myself included) told Managers and government they would not be needed. For the most part they have remained empty. The cat is beginning to be let out of the bag though. You may remember a news report of the first “discharged” patient from one of them a few weeks back, well and incase you have any doubts of my claims above of what i am seeing daily and having to deal with from managers….

      Management at the hospital and trust i operate at around 80% of the time by me have been told in no uncertain terms not to ask any staff under my lead to stand clapping like trained seals under any circumstances. Otherwise the media will get to hear more about some of their procedures which are far worse than just pulling the wool over the government and public eyes for a bit of extra cash. Needless to say they have stayed well away from my department.

      YOU are being told what certain individuals be them fear mongers, NHS Trust managers or government (which have no idea about anything) want you to hear.

  10. Paul Norris says:

    I believe it’s an educational problem. Too many people manage to get through school without actually learning anything and are therefore particularly naive when it comes to conspiracy theories about things they will never understand. Not I’m not saying it’s kids, the problem is decades old.

    1. Jamiul says:

      Its more down to people live in their own little bubble worlds today, totally oblivious sheep that can not think for thereself will believe anything they are told if told it enough times, rather than factually look into things.

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