Northampton broadband affected by cable thieves

Thursday, August 25th 2011
Properties in Northampton's Castle Ashby have been left without broadband after a third cable theft incident in a fortnight.
Northampton broadband affected by cable thieves
Broadband users in the Northampton area have seen their services disrupted by a series of cable thefts in recent weeks.

The area of Castle Ashby has been affected by three incidents in the past two weeks in which cabling was dug up and stolen by opportunist thieves, prompting internet service provider (ISP) BT to call for extra vigilance from local police and residents.

This week, 800 metres of cable were removed, only two days after engineers had restored functionality after a previous theft, thus leaving up to 30 homes and 20 local businesses without home phone or internet access, reports the Northampton Chronicle & Echo.

As a result of the incident, local traders have had their operations severely disrupted, as they are unable to use their PDQ card machines for payments or order new stock online.

Meanwhile, the lack of phone access is expected to persist for at least three or four days, causing further problems for businesses that rely on remote communications to function.

A spokesman for BT confirmed that up to 400 phone lines have been affected by the latest theft, though the ISP hopes to have the majority of these restored by this evening (August 25th 2011).

"This really does show what a knock-on effect this sort of crime has on the local community. Our engineers have been working through the night and will start re-establishing each line one by one from early today," he said.

It comes after large quantities of fibre optic and copper cabling were recovered earlier this week by ISPs such as Virgin Media and BT following raids of scrap metal facilities in the Bolton area.

Greater Manchester Police revealed more than 4,000 metres of lead and copper cabling and160 metres of fibre optic cabling was found during the raids, which would be enough to deliver broadband services to around 10,000 properties.

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