Cable Theft Hits Ewhurst

It appears that much of Ewhurst is without telephone and ADSL (non FTTC) broadband services today (16/01/2013). The BT service status page contains the following report:

Sat 12/01/2013 at 09:49 Due to suspected Cable Thefts & damage caused by 3rd parties, a small number of our customers in the below areas, may experience a loss of telephone and/or broadband services. We hope to have service restored as quickly as possible and apologise for any inconvenience this may be causing… Cranleigh – 01483 (estimated clear date 19/01/13) …

I can confirm that both our phone lines are out, along with Andrew’s, also in Horsham Lane. The lines were working yesterday, so perhaps this outage is due to further stolen or damaged cables last night. Luckily my “fibre” broadband connection is unaffected, and we have our usual poor mobile service, so I can at least continue to work.

Andrew reports that a BT man-hole cover near cabinet 19 was open this morning with no sign of BT works in progress. On inspection a large multi-core (copper) cable had clearly been cut, and another damaged cable end was visible. An ADSL service monitored by Walter is reported to have gone down at 3.30am this morning, so it seems reasonable to suggest that a cable theft was attempted here at that time. Please read the comments for Andrew’s full report and more from Walter. Andrew reported the dangerous open man-hole situation to a BT engineer in the area, so we hope that has now been rectified.

The “fix by” date given to BT customers today is 28th January, so this now seems unlikely to be the same incident referred to on the BT service page above.

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9 Responses to Cable Theft Hits Ewhurst

  1. Andrew says:

    Having seen David I stopped outside ’Oakhangers’ Cabinet 19 and found the manhole cover off completely – no BT van, no protective screening. Looking down it I could see the cleanly severed end of massive cable – about 5cm across with hundreds of thin copper pairs poking out. There was a gap of about 0.5m and the other end was all ragged. Whether this is simply an old cable or recent damage I can’t tell.

    On my way into Cranleigh I happened to see an Openreach van waiting at the traffic lights at Park Mead so took the opportunity to ask the engineer if he knew of an outage in Ewhurst. He didn’t but was on his way to Cabinet 18 to do an install so he said he would take a look as he was concerned about an open manhole.

    I have phoned Orange (my provider) and reported the fault – they confirmed the fault and gave an ETA of 2-4 days to fix, which ties in with the BT service fault log you posted.

    My last email received was 3am so happened between then and 8.30am.

    Also noticed a digger working in the coned off area outside Park Mead, and an Openreach van at Swallow tiles so other possible sources of trouble.

  2. Walter says:

    As far as I can tell from Merrow with the number of texts & e-mails via mobiles I’ve had, the whole of Ewhurst is without phones and ADSL. It’s only the very few with VDSL that can still communicate. The fix by date that’s been given to those that ask is 28 Jan 2013.

    IF BT want to be rigorous, they will also postpone all new VDSL installations as they can’t test for a dial tone.

  3. Andrew says:

    Duke of Kent School have 3 phone lines down. Broadband still working BUT they use Kijomo wireless.

  4. David Nye says:

    CCM phone lines are up (Somersbury Lane) but they may be VOIP or from a Cranleigh cabinet?

  5. Mike says:

    Been out all day, but the phone was off this morning and is still off now. Broadband (fibre) working fine at 12mbps however.

  6. David Nye says:

    Made the final edits to the above article prior to overnight distribution. Further edits will be required as the story evolves.

  7. David Nye says:

    Our incident has now been added to the TalkTalk service status page at http://www.talktalk.co.uk/service-status/ as follows “16/01/2013 10:09 Openreach Copper Cable Break – Cranleigh Exchange – Some Phone and Broadband Customers are experiencing Loss of Service. Priority 3. Engineers: BT Openreach.” I assume that this data came from BT Openreach systems, but as far as I can see BT have not yet bothered to update their own status pages at http://www.bt.com/help/servicestatus and http://btbusiness.custhelp.com/app/service_status. Let’s hope this means that they are planning to fix it at the same time as the earlier Cranleigh incident.

  8. David Nye says:

    I reported the fault online to Plusnet at 9:50am yesterday and received the standard “we cannot detect any fault please check your phone is not broken and you might get charged for an engineer” reply at 8:42am today! I have now informed Plusnet of the stolen cable and suggested it should be reported on their own service status pages.

  9. Walter says:

    Here is the text extracted from the SCC Road Information web site.

    ____________________________________________________________

    Road information : Cranleigh Road, Ewhurst

    Location: B2127 CRANLEIGH ROAD – EWHURST

    From 17 January 2013 to 21 January 2013

    Description of location:
    Near Property ‘Connemara’, Cranleigh Road Ewhurst

    Days of work: Weekdays

    Times of work: 8:30 – 16:00

    What will the work involve?
    Cable renewal in duct to restore service

    Why is the work being done?
    Emergency repairs

    How will my route be affected?
    Temporary traffic lights in place

    Who has been informed about the roadworks?
    Information on the web

    Who is doing the works?
    BT

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