I am concerned that given the importance of …

Comment posted What’s a fibreoptic cable doing lying on a beach anyway? by Mike Story.

I am concerned that given the importance of this cable, and the fact that it linked in the personal alarm call systems for over 200 vunerable elderly folks, that there was no back up system. Even a well buried cable can be the target of thieves..in this case dumb ones, so if vital services are at risk a surely it would make sense to have a more robust back up system…there are a lot of remote homes in this area.

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12 Responses to I am concerned that given the importance of …

  1. BT are not the sharpest knife in the block!

    When my local area had telephone cable taken from each pole and laid in the ditch, they simply left large sections on the surface, despite being informed of this nothing happened……that is until ditch renovation was routinely carried out and a flayer was used to cut back brambles etc…..I think you can see where I’m going! Result a chewed cable, no phones and two services namely council and BT blaming each other. So, your story does not surprise me in the slightest.

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    • The visual evidence of the television footage – with the camera resting on the image of the cut section and the rest of the cable – showed a long continuation of the cable lying on the surface of the beach and vanishing into the tide, with absolutely no trace of its having been dug up anywhere along that length. There was, for example, no visible disturbance to the seaweed, which is easy to spot. I paid particular attention to what was shown – LOOKING for something suggesting it had been dug up. There was nothing, and the reporter’s commentary made no reference to digging up or uncovering the cable in any way.

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  2. Ah. Don’t forget BT have been using special ‘self burying’ cable for many years. For ages there was a large loop of the main cable to the village lying on my beach. It disappeared several years ago.

    It must have buried itself as the phones still work.

    Perhaps BT need to concentrate on developing a ‘high speed’ self burying cable that wouldn’t be noticeable for quite so long.

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  3. 2 things to point out are that, fiber optic cable is very expensive so has to be burried under the sea rather than round land due to cost and logistics (they are burried under the sea all over the world). Secondly, when this cable is installed it is burried under the sea bed but over time the tides and power of the sea will uncover sections. This cable is very tough and will withstand the power of nature but it will not, however, withstand the power of a chainsaw, heavy duty cable cutters or whatever other weapons these thieves decide to use.
    Phone companies spend many £millions every year to combat cable theft and this is now a real problem. More help is needed from local communities and the police to help find these people who are undoubtedly putting real lives at risk

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    • Wrong! see 2 above, and do you realise how deep the oceans are? Cables are not buried under the sea or loch bed, but the point where they are most vulnerable is on the surface before entering the water (fresh or salt). There perhaps they should be fed through buried (metal) duct or duct embedded in concrete.

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  4. I am concerned that given the importance of this cable, and the fact that it linked in the personal alarm call systems for over 200 vunerable elderly folks, that there was no back up system. Even a well buried cable can be the target of thieves..in this case dumb ones, so if vital services are at risk a surely it would make sense to have a more robust back up system…there are a lot of remote homes in this area.

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    • You get what you pay for, if you buy a telephone line then that is what you get. If you need resilience then you install a system with an independent backup connection, perhaps a small mobile phone module built into the unit.

      Many commercial systems specify two independent circuits that never come near each other even when they enter the user’s premises. But it costs a lot more.

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  5. In fairness to BT, there are virtually NO BEACHES on Loch Carron. It appears this cable was on the Stromeferry side of the loch. It could be accessed by parking in a passing place, crossing a fence, crossing the rail line, crossing another fence, then making your way down the rocks to the rocky shoreline.
    That side of the loch is effectively inaccessible and the picture being painted of a cable lying around on a sandy beach is wrong.

    Interestingly, the damage did not effect landline telephone services locally. It did stuff the internet and mobile phones. (except Orange)

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    • This is a useful picture in terms of accessibility – but the cable was still lying on the beach. That has to be mmethod is wildly disproportionate to the value of the infrastructure and the business and personal services it supports.

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