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Connectivity Problems in Telford After Openreach Network Attacked

Thursday, May 16th, 2024 (12:11 pm) - Score 6,720

An unspecified number of Openreach’s broadband ISP and phone customers, including some Ethernet links, appear to have been disrupted in the Shropshire (England) town of Telford after the operator’s network was “badly damaged” in an attack. The operator informs that this “attack” is not being linked to cable theft.

The event appears to have started at around 1-2am last night after 5 cables were cut in a manhole along the A4169 Queensway, which impacted services in and around the Cuckoo Oaks area. A number of other network operators have also been impacted by the disruption this has caused.

New cables are understood to have already been installed to replace a 144, 240, 48 and 864 ribbon cable, but the splicing work is expected to take a bit of time. Damage like this can often take most of a day or more to fully resolve.

An Openreach spokesperson told ISPreview:

“Our network in the Cuckoo Oaks area of Telford has been badly damaged, impacting phone and broadband service for local homes and businesses.

Our engineers have already started work and are doing their best to carry out repairs and restore connectivity as quickly and safely as possible.

These attacks cause unacceptable disruption to the lives of local people and put vulnerable people at risk.

We encourage anyone who is experiencing problems to contact their provider who will advise us. It’s also worth remembering that vulnerable status (which can prioritise repair work) is determined by broadband providers; if you think you or a family member should be given this status, please register with your provider.”

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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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8 Responses
  1. Avatar photo Phil says:

    It’s started after 8:30pm onwards in my local area. Service went down on both broadband and EE network.

  2. Avatar photo UKFailure says:

    Ironically, I have been reading a lot of disgruntled fibre engineers complaining on LinkedIn due to not being paid for the work they have done in the Birmingham area. As a lot of work is subcontracted out and possibly that work then subcontracted out again.

    I can’t help but wonder if this is the reason why.

    1. Avatar photo Matt says:

      If that’s the case, that’s obviously illegal but also entirely unethical.

      If that proves to be the outcome, then the connection between what they provide to the country and the criticality it serves is clearly unconsidered.

  3. Avatar photo Steve Browne says:

    Same, around 8:30 last night. Original fix was estimated to be by 02:34, so not sure what this 1-2am timeline is.

    A similar thing happened 2 weeks ago, the theory was that someone was trying to disable alarm systems on one of the trading estates.

  4. Avatar photo Phil says:

    Updated from Openreach

    This circuit is affected by MSO. The Incident detail is as follows- Incident ID: IMT*****/**, Start Date 15/05/2024 20:34:49 and Estimated Completion Date: 16/05/2024 21:53:36.

    Hopefully service should be restored after 10pm.

  5. Avatar photo GG says:

    Time for theft or destruction of telecoms equipment to be categorised as terrorism, with sentences to match.

    1. Avatar photo name says:


      What planet are you on

  6. Avatar photo Phil says:

    Broadband (G.fast) and Mobile (EE) has been restored back on now. Been outage for 24 hours.

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