Cable thieves kill broadband in Surrey neighbourhood

Cable thieves knocked out phone and broadband connectivity for thousands of businesses and homes in the Byfleet area of Surrey on Thursday.Described by BT as "a significant attack" and reported by thinkbroadband as involving a chainsaw and affecting 4,000 premises, the theft took place in the early hours of Thursday morning.

Cable thieves knocked out phone and broadband connectivity for thousands of businesses and homes in the Byfleet area of Surrey on Thursday.

Described by BT as "a significant attack" and reported by thinkbroadband as involving a chainsaw and affecting 4,000 premises, the theft took place in the early hours of Thursday morning.

"Significant numbers of customers may be experiencing a loss of telephone and broadband service at the present time," a BT spokesperson said on Thursday. "Our engineers are on-scene and will be working around the clock to restore service on affected lines, and we will issue further information as it becomes available."

ZDNet UK asked BT on Friday whether connectivity had been restored, but was told only that that the company is working with Surrey Police on the investigation around the theft. Witnesses are urged to come forward.

It is not yet clear whether the cable stolen was fibre or copper, but copper theft is a perennial problem with telecoms networks, as the price of the metal continues to soar — it currently fetches just under £6,000 a tonne.

A year ago, BT said it was trialling new forensic technology to mark cable thieves.

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