When Welwyn Garden City exchange experienced a partial community isolation back in early Feb 2012, BT mobilised resources from across the business to respond and restore services.

Engineers from Openreach and BT Operate endured minus 14C temperatures to restore connections to emergency services after cable thieves damaged multiple BT cables. The incident was pinpointed to a section of cable along the A1 near Hatfield, Hertfordshire and teams worked round the clock in extreme conditions to restore services.

A BT Silver Command Team was quickly established with a senior incident manager from BT Operate at one of BT’s Incident Management Centres bringing together a pan BT virtual team with the senior incident manager acting as Silver Commander.

Thieves severed five Fibre cables, causing loss of telephony and 999 services to 3,500 users, and loss of broadband for 4,500 users, as well as a core network transmission failure.

Communications to a number of police and ambulance stations and hospitals in the area were affected and BT worked to ensure all services were fixed and all fibre repaired as quickly as possible.

Cable damage
Cable damage

BT ensured resource was in place on site over the weekend so work could be prioritised and carried out safely.

BT teams worked tirelessly together and showed great team work through the difficult sub-zero conditions, several inches of snow and access to the manholes required specialised winching equipment to get the teams down to inspect the cables.

BT was in regular contact with the assistant chief constable for Hertfordshire who fed back she was really impressed by BT's focus, efforts and speed of repair.

Hertfordshire Police Authority also commented that they had been very impressed by the way the constabulary and BT have worked together to respond rapidly and effectively to manage this incident, which has caused significant disruption across the county.

Engineers working in snow
Engineers working in snow

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