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Targeted Attack Hits Ogi’s Full Fibre Broadband Network in Wales

Monday, Jan 15th, 2024 (11:39 am) - Score 7,960
Ogi-2024-engineers-repairing-network-damage-in-Wales

Broadband ISP Ogi, which is deploying a multi-Gigabit capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network across parts of South Wales, has informed ISPreview that the police have been called in after their new network suffered “extensive” damage in a “targeted attack” that left some customers disconnected.

Just to recap. Ogi’s new network has already covered a total of 100,000 premises – most of them residential – in Wales up to the end of 2023 (up from 60k on 30th June 2023) and they’re also now home to a total of over 10,000 customers (up from 6,000).

NOTE: Ogi is backed by £200m via Infracapital, employs over 210 staff and aims to cover 150,000 premises in South Wales by 2025.

Unfortunately, in recent months, we’ve seen a number of fixed line network operators face attacks against their infrastructure. The latest example comes from Ogi in West Wales, which sadly suffered “extensive” damage late on Friday night, involving overhead and chamber sites (sub-duct and fibre) in the Pembroke Dock area.

Engineers have since been working to restore over 600m of the network across several sites in the town – effectively rebuilding major parts of the newly installed network. The incident left a number of customers without broadband and phone services for most of the weekend, although they’re in the process of restoring service today.

The provider is limited in what they can reveal now that a criminal investigation has been launched into the incident by Dyfed Powys Police, but we did get this statement.

Justin Leese, Ogi’s Chief Technology and Operations Officer, told ISPreview:

“Our Network Operations Team prepares for every eventuality, yet the extent of the damage here was unimaginable. Teams from across Network, Service Operations and Delivery departments mobilised quickly to restore service – effectively rebuilding parts of the local network, in less than 48 hours – a huge achievement.

A blatant attack to vital infrastructure, this criminal damage left customers vulnerable, putting lives at risk – it is unacceptable.

I’d like to also thank local people for their support. Despite being without service for most of the weekend, people were hugely supportive of our teams on the ground – with their anger being firmly directed at the culprit(s) of this crime.”

Attacks against UK telecoms infrastructure tend to be considered as a serious crime and one that has, in the recent past, resulted in various individuals being jailed. Some of the most common damage tends to involve the theft of old copper telecoms cable from Openreach’s national network, but in the last couple of months we’ve also targeted attacks that seem intended to cause significant damage (here and here).

People who commit such acts rarely seem to have any regard for the residents and businesses that end up being disrupted by such activity, which can also impact the ability of vulnerable individuals to contact the emergency services.

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Mark-Jackson
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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Comments
20 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Andrew says:

    I do not understand WHY someone would want to purposefully disrupt potentially their own internet connection… I can imagine these people go home after doing the destruction and then wonder why their internet is not working

    1. Avatar photo Big Dave says:

      Possibly a disgruntled ex employee or ex contractor maybe? It sounds like whoever did it new what they were going after.

    2. Avatar photo Observer says:

      Likely disgruntled contractors, in the context of this story…

      https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2024/01/isp-ogi-boost-fttp-broadband-speeds-and-cuts-prices-in-wales.html

      See in the comments mentions of contractors being laid off at the end of the month, due to funding shortages and build slowdown / pauses.

    3. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      I don’t see any evidence at all to support that this outcome is “likely”, but please do share if you have something more credible. People lose their jobs all the time, but I’ve hardly ever seen – in this industry – cases where ex-contractors respond by committing serious crime against their employer’s network. Conspiracy theorists, theft of network kit and those disgruntled by damage from a network build would probably be higher up on the speculation list.

    4. Avatar photo John says:

      It makes more sense that it is an ex contractor sabotaging the network than someone believing the underground fibre cables causing cancer. In Scotland people cut each other’s Internet cables out of spite frequently, not hard to imagine same happens in rural Wales whom similarly vote for their communist plaid party

      Until criminals get arrested we can only speculate though

    5. Avatar photo Phil says:

      One thing is stealing valuable copper that has had its value inflated because of all the money printing but this is pure sabotage.

      And this was just one month ago https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2023/12/vandals-attack-netomnias-fttp-broadband-network-in-liverpool.html

      Liverpool is a one party labour area. Maybe there’s some link there

    6. Avatar photo RightSaidFred says:

      @John, ignorance is bliss.

      Wales has been firmly Labour since before any of us were born.

      The idea that any of the main political parties is communist is utterly absurd in any event.

    7. Avatar photo XGS says:

      I guess if a person’s opinions are extreme enough and their idea of the centre far enough to the right a lot of political positions start looking like communism, Fred.

      Obviously inexcusable and a rank insult to, especially, those that lived behind the Iron Curtain and within the Warsaw Pact though it manages to insult Wales and the wider UK too so something for everyone.

    8. Avatar photo RightSaidFred says:

      The irony being, if the last election has held with the new constituency boundaries, I’d be living in a Conservative held constituency right now. Shock horror, in supposedly communist Wales.

    9. Avatar photo John says:

      Whatever you want to call it, I don’t really care but if it’s not communism now then it is on the path to it with every new policy. Wales is in such an insane terrible shape that it manages to have a worse NHS than Scotland, does not have as high taxes but has other types of insane taxations like the one woman who got heavily taxed for her shed. The same types of middle aged or unemployed white scruffy communist propagandists with speakers and che Guevara shirts I see in Islington, I can also find them in Cardiff and Swansea

      Meanwhile also got shafted with 20mph roads and cancelled road projects and to add insult to injury, Drakeford decided to resign after implementing such an authoritarian dystopian policy. New diverse Welsh leader, just like the Scottish one, hates his own people so expect further communist radicalization

  2. Avatar photo RightSaidFred says:

    Time to make the punishments for intentionally disrupting nationally critical infrastructure more severe.

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      The punishments can already be pretty serious, but the real problem is identifying and catching the culprits.

  3. Avatar photo lock them up says:

    I think the people behind this sort of thing just don’t think about the consequences and really don’t care about anyone else. It really isn’t an exaggeration to say peoples lives depend on their connections.
    I personally think the industry and police should be doing more to highlight this issue and the consequences. Maybe notices on cabinets that state, ‘deliberately damaging telecoms infrastructure endangers lives, please report suspicious activity.’

    1. Mark-Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      The risk there is that you end up inviting idiots to “have a go”, as it were. But I agree with the broad strokes of what you’re saying.

  4. Avatar photo Bob says:

    What parts of a fibre network sit on top of poles that are valuable? I expected it to only consist of plastic CBT’s and spliced fibre cables?

    So it must have been done out of intention to cause disruption more then anything else?

    1. Avatar photo XGS says:

      Absolutely, Bob. Plain old vandalism.

  5. Avatar photo DaveZ says:

    Let’s not forget that stupidity usually wins out above all else. I bet some muppet has ripped it out thinking they can sell it like copper cables.

  6. Avatar photo Denise says:

    Possibly a rival company has put someone up to this. Promising them big bucks to do the dirty deed…

    1. Avatar photo John says:

      Is openreach rolling out in Pembroke?

    2. Avatar photo Anonymous says:

      Openreach are building in Tenby and survey work being done in Milford Haven. they have FTTC in Pembroke

Comments are closed

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