On Thursday 7th of June, BT experienced loss of services to several remote off shore communities in the North West Highlands of Scotland. On investigation, the cause of the issue was found to be malicious cable damage to BT submarine cables below the high tide mark of Loch Carron at Stromeferry. BT teams worked to restore services as quickly as possible, during low tide, via a combination of reroutes and temporary cable patch solution. All Communities were successfully reconnected by the evening of Friday the 8th of June and BT was then able to progress a permanent repair to the damaged submarine cable the following week, ensuring the impact to customers was minimised.

Cable ship

Cable ship

BT teams worked very closely with Scottish Government and Emergency Authorities throughout the incident to ensure they and the impacted local Communities were kept informed and remained at the centre of their recovery actions. BT’s commitment to these isolated Communities was illustrated by the lengths the Openreach team on site went to, working between tides to affect a temporary water tight repair until a permanent solution could be put in place. BT’s Business Continuity Telecommunications Equipment Service Station (BCM-TESS) vehicle and Emergency Response team provided the impacted communities with communications support throughout the incident. 

Submarine cable damage

Submarine cable damage

This incident drew on the expertise from teams’ right across BT including the Emergency Response Team (ERT), Marine Subsea Cable Team, BT Communications and Press Office. BT’s engagement with impacted Communities, Emergency Authorities and Scottish Government proved very powerful and contributed to the successful resolution of the incident. The BT Civil Resilience Local Liaison Manager provided a steady and constant influence throughout the incident and this greatly assisted the overall repair process and drew praise from the communities within his patch.

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Emergency Response Vehicles deployed to Welwyn Garden City