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Virgin Media O2 UK Fibre Break Disrupts London Schools UPDATE2

Thursday, July 15th, 2021 (1:54 pm) - Score 4,296
virgin-media-o2-network-engineer-at-work-2021

The London Grid for Learning (LGfL), which currently works alongside Virgin Media Business (VMO2) to supply ultrafast broadband to c.3,000 schools in London (over 1.2 million children), reports that one of VMO2’s fibre optic cables has been “seriously damaged” and is disrupting connectivity to various schools and businesses.

The incident is understood to be impacting connectivity services in South East London, particularly schools in the Lewisham, Bexley, Southwark and Greenwich areas. “There has been an underground power-related event that has seriously damaged fibre cabling & public infrastructure,” said the LGfL via Twitter.

We are currently in the process of trying to get more information, although LGfL warns that this “very serious incident” is likely to cause disruption for “AT LEAST 24 Hours.” According to one of our sources, the damage was caused by an “underground electrical power explosion” that hit nearby fibre cabling and is thus affecting schools and a range of other sites.

The explosion occurred under a busy roundabout, which means that fixing the damage is likely to be much more complex and disruptive than usual. But first the area has to be made safe, before the engineers can begin their work.

UPDATE 2:08pm

We’ve had a statement from VMO2.

A VM Spokesperson told ISPreview.co.uk:

“We are aware of an incident on the UK Power Networks electricity network which has damaged some of our underground cables and is causing a loss of services for some customers in the Lewisham area. Our engineers are on site and are working closely with UK Power Networks teams to restore services as quickly as possible.

We apologise to customers affected and are working as quickly as possible to repair the damaged cables.”

UPDATE 16th July 2021 @ 7:31am

The CEO of the LGfL has posted a picture of the damage on Twitter, including a small update.

Leave a Comment
9 Responses
  1. David says:

    Is this a complete outage (which questions their level of resillience) or a lack of suitable capacity management process?

    1. J says:

      Resilience is ridiculously expensive, business customers, of which LGFL will be get diversity normally from different providers. Not that many customers have it. Openreach VM etc won’t have diversity on their access networks. Should do on their core though

    2. Andrew says:

      It usually depends on the budget of the customer. If you’re using Openreach fibre to provide the final-leg you can specify (at a cost) ‘Resilience Option 2’ where circuits are kept separate from each other using different ducts & cables where possible.

      I’m not sure if Virgin offer something similar on their network.

    3. J says:

      @andrew

      Would depend on what fibre was in the ground and where the hubsites were. I was previously a business engineer, I covered 3 different cities and various large towns. The major city centre was covered by 4 hubsites, so in a fair bit of the centre true resiliency could be offered. And it wouldn’t be stupidly expensive, just the cost of 2 circuits. If the customer was willing to pay for civils works and fibre works then I’m sure VM would have met any of their demands. As it stood if VM didn’t have the fibre to offer resiliency, they would procure a circuit from BT to a different hubsite and offer it that way. Not many customers actually take resiliency though!

  2. Mike says:

    This is an unacceptable interruption of the children’s brainwashing.

    1. Aled says:

      On the final two days of school before summer, this is an unacceptable interruption of YouTube road safety & potato painting classes.

    2. CarlT says:

      Nah, their parents may be at home with a Daily Mail and GBeebies waiting to indoctrinate them into voting against their own best interests when they reach 18.

    3. NotThatDude88 says:

      I still paint poatatoes on mspaint to this day.

    4. The Grinch says:

      Why can’t the schools just use pen, books and paper? Worked for us, and would keep the teachers and pupils off their mobiles! I’m serious by the way.

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