Broadband users in West London have been left without internet connections for almost three days following an attempted cable theft.
Fibre lines owned by BT Openreach in the Brentford area were cut on Tuesday while suspected criminals hunted out copper to steal – an increasingly common crime that has even resulted in BT having a dedicated Metal Theft Task Force and offering rewards of £1,000 for information leading to arrests and convictions.
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However, it was not just BT customers affected, as other ISPs such as Sky and TalkTalk use the lines on a wholesale basis.
Sky acknowledged the issues on its website, saying up to 37,000 customers had been affected. The exchanges hit by the damage included Stamford Hill, Dartford, Ewell, Mitcham, Wimbledon, Hampstead, Battersea, Chiswick and Beulah Hill.
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A small number of TalkTalk customers have also been affected, but only voice services for inbound calls rather than broadband connections.
A BT spokesman said around two-thirds of customers had their services restored already, but added: “Openreach engineers are working to restore service to affected customers as quickly as possible.”