An estimated 37,000 Sky customers in London are facing a three day broadband and phone outage after suspected thieves cut through crucial fibre-optic cables in search for copper.
BT lines went down on Tuesday at around 11pm leaving thousands of Sky customers without phone and broadband during the busy holiday shopping season. Although calls have been rerouted, TalkTalk customers were also hit by the outage.
According to a report on The Guardian, suspected copper thieves accessed the affected cables via a manhole on Capital Interchange Way in Brentford. The thieves may have been looking for copper which has high resale value in the black market; however, they only found fibre-optic cables, which actually don’t carry any resale value whatsoever.
“There is currently an exchange outage in the London area which is resulting in a loss of broadband services. Areas include: Stamford Hill, Dartford, Ewell, Mitcham, Wimbledon, Hampstead, Battersea, Chiswick, Beulah Hill”, read a service status update message on Sky website.
Considering that the cable cut issue was in BT’s core network, an undisclosed number of BT customers have also been affected.
A Sky spokesperson said, “Openreach engineers are working to repair the network as a matter of urgency. We apologise to all affected customers.”
According to BT 10 Openreach engineers are currently working at the site to splice the cables back together and restore connectivity.