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Vandals Cause £13k of Damage to Broadband Network in Shropshire Village

Monday, Jan 23rd, 2023 (3:34 pm) - Score 4,464
British police

The West Mercia police force in Shropshire (England) are appealing for information after repeated attacks by criminals, which have occurred over the last four weeks, caused an estimated £13,000 worth of damage to broadband infrastructure belonging, we think, to Openreach in the village of Selattyn (near Oswestry).

According to the force’s Safer Neighbourhood Team (SNT) for Oswestry, an individual or group of criminals appears to have been going around the local area and cutting cables on local telecoms poles. At present, there’s no mention of any theft, which suggests an element of juvenile vandalism may be at work. But local phone and broadband connectivity has suffered some sporadic disruption.

In a brief statement on Twitter, the O-SNT team said: “Criminal Damage in Selattyn. A number of incidents have occurred over the last four weeks where damage has been done to broadband installations by damaging the wiring. The estimated cost to repair is the region of 13K. Any info: 101 incident: 00297_I_20112023.”

The statement also included some pictures, but the photographer probably won’t be winning any awards for clarity, since they’re a mix of heavy blur and somewhat unsettling hand twists. At present there’s no mention of which network operator this involves but, so far as we’re aware, Openreach serves Selattyn via poles using a mix of copper-based ADSL and FTTC (VDSL2).

But we do note that Airband’s wireless network also covers the area, and they may also use some poles for backhaul capacity, so it’s possible that one or both operators might have been hit.

We’ve contacted Openreach in the hope of getting a bit more detail on these events and will report back later.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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11 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Mark says:

    It’ll probably be some 5G causes Covid nutter who thinks the telegraph poles are 5G masts!

    1. Avatar photo Gavin says:

      I’m sure if OR going around to the houses near the pole, who keep losing their internet, they would be open for a CCTV camera to be bought and installed on their house, to look over at the pole.

  2. Avatar photo Anthony says:

    At that rate to repair would it not just be cheaper to replace with FTTP given that will immediately put an end to any more damage?

    1. Avatar photo New_Londoner says:

      You’re assuming that the culprits have the ability to apply common sense to their actions.

    2. Avatar photo Chris says:

      because everybody know you can’t cut fibre

    3. Avatar photo RobC says:

      You assume that it’s just a case of firing some fibre in the ground and you’re done. In reality it would take some time to build out the relevant backhaul and PON network in order to migrate everyone to FTTP meaning they would be offline for an even longer period of time.

  3. Avatar photo Fred says:

    Probably bored kids thinking it would be fun to cut exposed cables and not thinking of the consequences.

    I often see telegraph poles with exposed cables on offer, especially the recently upgraded ones for FTTP.

    Prior to that, the copper cable feeds were protected by an anti-vandal metal cover as seen in the photos above (and sometimes the new fibre connections go up them too these days). I’m sure there’s a good reason why some of these cables have to be left exposed and vulnerable to vandalism, which is a shame.

    1. Avatar photo Jim says:

      Airband’s Network

  4. Avatar photo Anon says:

    We have been without broadband for 8 days in Dawley after a car collided with the cable box. No sign of anyone coming to repair it

  5. Avatar photo Sim says:

    Underhand tactics of one provider against another?!

Comments are closed

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