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High End Entanet Broadband ISP Kit Stolen from Stepney Green UK Exchange

Posted: 18th Jan, 2011 By: MarkJ
bt_openreach_uk_broadband_telecom_van.jpgisp entanet broadband ukNetwork operator Entanet UK reports that thieves have stolen "high end" networking equipment from its location within the BT Stepney Green (London) telephone exchange. The incident took place during the early hours of Monday morning (around 1am) and resulted in a serious loss of broadband ISP connectivity (IPStream Connect, Wholesale Broadband Connect).

Sadly the situation meant that it took Entanet longer than expected to restore its service, primarily because they were unable to start installing replacement kit until after the "Scenes of Crimes Officers" (Police) had done their job first. The services were all fully restored at just after 4pm.

Entanet's Head of Marketing, Darren Farnden, told ISPreview.co.uk:

"In the early hours of Monday 17th Jan we advised Entanet customers via our Network Operations Centre (noc.enta.net), twitter and email subscriptions that we had lost connectivity to stepneygreen.core.enta.net. Service was unavailable to IPSC and WBC DSL customers directly connected to this node. Those connected to the remaining 19 WBC nodes and 9 IPSC nodes are unaffected.

Further investigation established that there had been a break-in at the exchange and essential details were provided to us. Entanet engineers were dispatched to the location while the Police were also informed.

Detailed inspection determined that several items of Entanet equipment needed to be replaced or repaired in order to restore service to customers. While this was Entanet's primary objective, we understandably needed to await authorisation from Police attending the crime scene to proceed. With that authorisation given this afternoon, our engineers began work immediately and service was expected to be restored within a couple of hours. In fact service was being successfully restored from approximately 16:00hrs.

At this stage it’s difficult to say whether equipment other than that belonging to Entanet was affected, although there was evidence of damage elsewhere also. For our part we’ve been immediately and solely focused only on replacing/repairing our own kit to restore service as quickly as possible."

We can't help but feel sorry for residents who connect into the Stepney Green telephone exchange, which in September 2008 was struck by an almost identical theft to yesterday's incident (here). The exchange serves more than 16,000 residential premises and hundreds of local businesses.

Back in September last year the same exchange was also hit hard by an unrelated outage of broadband and phone services (here). It's understood that the stolen equipment was the sort that you would normally only expect Communications Providers (CP) and or large enterprises to use.
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