Cable Theft Latest

Walter thinks that most lines were back in service before the weekend, but one was only fully restored at 9pm yesterday and Openreach are still working in the village today. According to the workmen, three or our cables were stolen, and in other places such as Send, the replacement cable was stolen again very quickly. Those yet to order “fibre” broadband may wish to do so as soon as possible, although less well informed cable thieves do sometimes also cut the fibre by mistake. Anyone who cannot easily switch to using mobile phones should also consider setting up a service such as Skype as a backup. Please read the comments on this and the previous article for more details and updates.

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17 Responses to Cable Theft Latest

  1. Andrew says:

    Going so well and at 11am today ADSL dropped and phone line dead. Rushed up the road to find BT engineers back at Cabinet 19. He thought it might be the exchange testing but that would be only momentary. He says they have 8 faults still to clear but was kind enough to take my number. Got back to find massive crack on line then went dead but ADSL has just managed to get lowly 256Kb connection once more. I can only think they have disturbed a line card/ joint – this has happened on and off for six years!

  2. David Nye says:

    Our O2 line is now dead; have not used it since yesterday, so not sure when that happened. I guess in trying to fix those 8 faults they are disturbing some other lines!

  3. David Nye says:

    Re-checked our O2 line (I have not yet heard a peep out of O2 since reporting the fault) and it is now working again.

  4. Andrew says:

    The engineer came to install fibre broadband, changed our Exchange side cable by locating a ‘stopped’ pair in Cabinet 18. Engineer then fixed new VDSL faceplate and Openreach modem on the wall. He tells me it has a download speed of 15Mb. Once the plusnet Technicolor TG582n router was attached the broadbandspeedchecker.co.uk website recorded 11Mbps down and 448Kbps up.

  5. David Nye says:

    I see your upload is very disappointing; very frustrating when upload speed is so important to your work. I get 460kbps on the Huawei or 540kbps on the ECI modem, but only 300kbps to start with, so hopefully yours will improve a bit. Clearly upload suffers even more then download on long lines. The theoretical max on the 40 Mbps service is 10 Mbps i.e. 25% of download. So your 4% is appalling, but I am still struggling to get anyone to even think about upload targets!

  6. David Nye says:

    Our O2 phone line died once again last Tuesday and is still out of order today (a faint dial tone immediately fades away to silence.) The O2 broadband connection died with it, but so far the Plusnet FTTC connection is proving more reliable.

  7. David Nye says:

    I just spent 15 minutes on the phone to O2 about the above fault … the girl eventually established that Openreach did attempt to fix a fault at the exchange yesterday, but failed, so further work is needed at the exchange. The O2 support staff cannot see the Openreach notes on their own system, which explains why their initial response is often inappropriate. I was put on hold for over 5 minutes while she accessed the Openreach notes to get the information above. I was also told that the previous fault on the same line (see comment above for 30th January) was due to a fault at the exchange. Sky will be taking over support for all O2 home phone lines in a couple of months, so I just hope that their systems are more integrated.

  8. Walter says:

    Yet, as far as I’m aware, Sky are not yet offering their own customers VDSL services in Ewhurst and presumably Cranleigh too ?

  9. David Nye says:

    Indeed; if this was my main connection I would now be very worried.

    I have been shopping around for a better deal, but so far no-one can beat O2′s all inclusive £25.29 per month for ADSL basic, anytime UK landline calls, caller ID, and line rental. I have no indication as to whether Sky might attempt to increase the price.

  10. David Nye says:

    Our O2 fault has finally been “fixed”. Engineer visited just now to test it; confirmed fault was at the exchange but very evasive about details, so I guess he was not actually involved in the work. Maybe the fact that he was tasked with getting it fixed today meant that the exchange people finally did whatever was needed. This is pure conjecture, but this has the feeling of a recurring fault that is “fixed” each time by some sort of software reset. We shall see. I took the opportunity to interrogate the engineer, but he had little to offer. His explanation as to why it has taken 10 days to fix was that they are busy due to the wet weather. He also had a good moan that the introduction of competition means that he no longer has access to all information about the line, which impedes his work. Have these companies never heard of systems integration? One crumb of comfort; he has only heard of one case where cable thieves returned to steal the same cable twice.

  11. David Nye says:

    Both my phone lines PLUS my FTTC connection are out today, and it took all morning to get my 3G dongle working with sufficient stability to post this (by suspending the dongle as high as I can outside!) A neighbour’s line is also dead. When reporting the faults the line test confirms a “disconnect”, which sounds like another cable theft, but others more central are not affected this time. Openreach cable pulling operations are ongoing near the Swallow Tiles building works, but damage from this seems unlikely to have cut three phone lines plus a fibre here, without affecting others in Ewhurst. There’s no sign of activity between here and the cabinet.

  12. David Nye says:

    At least another 2 in Horsham Lane are affected, not yet found anyone in this stretch who is unaffected, and Openreach vans have been up and down, but I have not yet been able to collar one. Both our lines now have rather sickly dial tones, but dialling 17070 reveals that both are connected to the wrong number. Calling one from the other got through to a confused neighbour further up the Lane. No sign of Openreach now, so maybe it’ll be like this for the weekend! I wonder what calls we might get?

  13. David Nye says:

    Both lines are still crossed this morning. O2/Sky have now reported that fault fixed even though I reported the crossed line last night, so had to report that as a new fault this morning! The engineer who did this did not bother to contact me, so may well have known that the job was not done properly, but just logged it as done to “restart the clock” and give themselves more time.

  14. David Nye says:

    Apparently a crossed line requires an engineer visit, and I failed to get the two calls combined, so Sky booked one for yesterday morning and Plusnet booked another for this morning. Yesterday morning the Plusnet line rang; it was a confused engineer wanting the party it is crossed with. It seems he may have managed to fix that (BT Retail) line, but my Plusnet line is now totally dead again as a result. Perhaps I should not have reported that change, because no engineer showed up today. Then again there was a no-show for the O2/Sky line yesterday as well. I just heard from Sky that they have re-booked for next Tuesday, in spite of all my protestations and pleadings. That one is still crossed with another (Sky Talk) line, so that “repair” process must be equally inefficient.

    I did get a partial explanation of the original fault; an engineer reported that the cable appeared to have been cut in an underground pit. So it does sound like an attempted cable theft. Possibly thwarted by the lack of ducting?

  15. David Nye says:

    At 6pm yesterday Plusnet acted on my online report of the above “no show” as follows:

    “I have checked for updates on your fault. The engineer who called you on the 17th has added notes to your fault advising that this has been repaired, however I have retested the line and still found a fault. Due to this I have rejected the clear on this fault and sent it back to openreach to look into. Along with this I have sent an escalation request off to openreach to see if we can get this fault fast tracked. There is no guarantee that this will be accepted.”

    It must have been escalated, because an engineer who sounded like they actually know what they’re doing just called and asked me to check, and my line and broadband are now restored! It seems he has even reset my IP Profile already, which I was expecting to be another battle, so I’m impressed with that. No visit was required of course.

    I am totally disgusted with the way Openreach handled this initially, but reasonably happy with Plusnet and the Openreach engineer who sorted it in the end. Plusnet were a little slow to respond at times, but I think the level of service is commensurate with their charges.

    Our other line is still connected to another number, but at last I managed to get a message to the other party this morning, and his CP (also Sky) has now logged and investigated the fault. I’m not sure if that will create more confusion and delay or speed things up!

    I have not been able to confirm if the original cut cable looked like attempted cable theft, but it’s hard to imagine why else it would have been cut in that way.

    P.S. The engineer who called on Wednesday, and closed the fault without checking if he’d fixed it, was a subcontractor from Croydon.

  16. David Nye says:

    Our second line has just been fixed by the engineer who was working on the fault for the number it was switched/crossed with. I have thus cancelled the engineer visit booked for tomorrow morning. In fact I also cancelled this phone line contract altogether, since I now know that I can use a 3G “dongle” as satisfactory backup for our FTTC connection. So that means that there will be one crackle free spare line available in Horsham Lane from next month; please form an orderly queue!

    Andrew was away when the cable was cut, but his modem log shows that his broadband connection was lost at this time. His phone line is now working but crackly.

  17. Walter says:

    After the storms I have been asked to assist with a no dial tone and broadband fault. I’ve now seen quite a few cases where the master socket is blasted out of existence. It’s well worth removing the front plate and substituting a standard filter dongle into the test socket inside the master socket. That will often restore the phone line even if your modem has been “fried”.

    What a pity we don’t have real Fibre-To-The-Home which is entirely unaffected by thunder storms.

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