This is a useful picture in terms of …

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

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.

newsroom also commented

  • 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.

Recent comments by newsroom

  • When is Council going to replace the A814′s missing warning for HGVs?
    As the article makes clear – large vehicles canot be prevented from using it because there will always be a genuine need for such vehicles to access a place or a property somewhere along that road.
    But a clear ‘limitation of use’ notice puts the onus on drivers and gives Police Scotland’s traffic division reason to stop inquire and act accordingly.
    Making the road one way for large vehicles, say south to north, would allow such access, deter casual convenience use by such vehicles and prevent stalemates when two meet.
  • State Guardians / Named Persons a situation out of control
    We accept that this latest story is correct.
    However, an earlier one – that of a family fleeing the Highlands and movong to Edinburgh had so many questions – like the age of the boy concerned; and the fact that Edinburgh is nor necessarily free of state guardians as local authorities in that area were licensed to conduct pilot implementations of the system. Since the government intention is to implement the measure across Scotland, Edinburgh – if the family are not currently living in a place where pilot state guardianships are in train, Edinburgh can offer only short term sanctuary. The boy, we understand may have now reached normal maturity. Given that the state guardian measure was introduced by statute in 2014, the family’s move cannot have taken place much before this time.
    Examples with no more than a peripheral – and even questionable – relationship to the generality of the impact of the state guardian imposition cannot serve to clarify the core abuses this system inflicts on the great majority of safe, loving and responsible families.
    We had first nighlioghtd the ‘Edinburgh move’ story but when we interrogated fully its detail e withdrew the article and made our position clear.
    Nothing gains from insecure tactical claims.
    This is not a tactical issue. It is a moral and political one and its hits at the heart of the sort of family life most of us have been fortunate to enjoy.
    There are far less needlessly damaging, more easily and less expensively achievable means of protecting the fewer [but not few children] who are at risk.
    The Scottish Government introduced covert pilot implementations of this measure despite having assured the concerned Scottish Parliament that there would be no implementations without further consultation.
    It is to the Parliament’s profound discredit that, on so serious a socially transformative matter, it did not make a sustained attempt to hold the government to account on this.
  • State Guardians / Named Persons a situation out of control
    We have used the word ‘fascist’ on some occasions to describe similar undemocratic interventions achieved by force majeure.
    People object to that as well – because everyone imagines fascism and fascists only exist elsewhere, somewhere else.
    However, you might find ‘fascist’ a more accurate and wholly defensible descriptor of your judgment of this particular intervention.
    The OED says of ;fasism’:
    ‘Fascism tends to include a belief in the supremacy of one national or ethnic group, a contempt for democracy, an insistence on obedience to a powerful leader, and a strong demagogic approach.’
  • Oban Bay Marine – and its 52 paid-up business supporters – go public for Oban’s marina
    The plan for the transit marina has kayak steps built into the town-facing shoreside rock armour, to support local kayak teaching and expedition businesses.
  • Oban Bay Marine – and its 52 paid-up business supporters – go public for Oban’s marina
    It is indeed a very serious issue.
    With public funding about to tighten again for a few years and with Argyll’s falling population and inept economic development unable to attract more substantial state funding, getting that ¬£2m spent on the transit marina and seeing it up and working for the 2016 season really is Oban’s last chance for a decade to get new energy and an earner to carry it over and build for the future.

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12 Responses to This is a useful picture in terms 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.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  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.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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