Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Cut Cable Update

Yesterday this blog reported the cut cables in Central Road affecting local business.

A BT engineer arrived this morning to have a look and report back on the situation so it can be assessed and the next step determined.

Jovauehn Henderson from BT told the blog that having seen what was cut, people at head office needed to determine whether the pavement needs to be dug up or not in order to replace the cables. There are cables going in three different directions. In some cases it might be just a matter of pulling new cable through existing conduits but this can’t be determined until the plans have been looked at. It also depends on if there has been any internal damage to the conduits.

Several cables were cut but it seems none were actually stolen however there is not enough protruding cable to just join them back together safely so new cables will need to be pulled through. The work will need to be done either by a secondary BT team or by a contractor.

According to Jovauehn, if it is determined that the work will be easy and they get a secondary team out quickly, it might be finished by tonight or more likely tomorrow. However if they find they need to dig up the pavement to re-lay conduit and cables it could take over a week, especially as planning permission is needed from the Council before they can start.

Cut, not stolen

It has been suggested that just cutting the cable is a strategy often used by cable thieves. Sometimes they cut the cable first and then leave quickly because it triggers off alarms and can bring police down to the site. Then they come back later once it’s all quietened down to finish the job. We probably all want to be vigilant in watching for anyone going back and stealing the cables but this gets a bit tricky because genuine BT workers and contractors will be doing very similar stuff.

Jovauehn told the blog that everyone working on it must have an ID tag but that criminals often produce their own ID and some even go to the trouble of getting vans painted up as BT vans so nobody questions them. He said only a manager who knew the actual people and knew what teams were working where would really be able tell a real engineer fixing the problem from a bogus one stealing cable. Although the number plate of the van would give it away if this was checked.

Making do

Meanwhile Pizza Express are making do with a manual system as they have no computer system. They have organised their phone to be diverted to mobiles so you can still order and book. The two banks are open but very limited in what services they can offer and the residents above the shops are without telephone or internet.

Hopefully it won’t take too long to fix.

Update (26th July)

Status: Mostly fixed. BT turned up yesterday (Thursday 25th) and managed to get services up and running again to the affected businesses. Natwest had all but their telephones restored around lunchtime yesterday. They are hoping to be connected to the telephone network again soon. Pizza Express had all their services restored around 4pm but the phones were intermittent. BT came back this morning to sort that out. Luckily it seems no digging up of the pavement was required.