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4000 Byfleet UK Homes and Business Left Without Broadband Due to Cable Theft

Posted: 22nd Jul, 2011 By: MarkJ
BT copper cable broadband and phone UK criminalsTelephone and broadband internet access services to 4,000 lines in Byfleet, a suburb of Woking in Surrey UK, have suffered a serious outage after BT confirmed that criminals had used a chainsaw to cut, dig up and steal a significant amount of its valuable copper cable.

A BT Spokesperson told Thinkbroadband :

"The BT network in the Byfleet area was subjected to a significant attack by cable thieves in the early hours of Thursday morning. Significant numbers of customers may be experiencing a loss of telephone and broadband service at the present time.

Our engineers are on-scene and will be working around the clock to restore service on affected lines, and we will issue further information as it becomes available. Anyone with information relating to this crime should contact the police or crimestoppers (0800 555 111) immediately."

Copper cable theft has become more common over the past few years due to a surge in scrap copper prices. BT Scotland suffered a similar theft earlier this month when £35,000 worth of copper cable was stolen from one of its yards.

The estimated cost of such activity, across the entire industry (e.g. telecoms, railway lines etc.), is believe to be in the region of £770 million. However such crimes don't always work out. Two weeks ago a naive 16-year-old boy died after attempting to steal copper cable from a disused power station (Darwin award?).

Meanwhile BT's Metal Theft Taskforce (MTT), which uses SmartWater to forensically "tag" metal thieves and what they steal, has been having some big successes against related crimes. Sadly it's not been enough to stop them from happening altogether, although using superfast fibre optic cable as a replacement might solve that *cough*.
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