Ocean Kinetics - The Engineering Experts

Broadband outage

SOME broadband and phone users in Shetland have been cut off for the past two days after a subsea fibre optic cable was severed south of Orkney on Wednesday morning.

Alder Lodge guesthouse in Lerwick was just one of many Talk Talk customers who lost contact with the outside world when the Faroese SHEFA2 cable broke at 10.15am.

BT engineers have been working hard to re-route services via the microwave link that connected Shetland to the mainland until December last year when BT switched to the fibre connection.

A company spokesman said it was complex operation re-routing traffic and could take three to five days to complete.

BT’s own customers have been automatically re-routed and suffered minimal disruption.

The spokesman said that they had feared slower speeds on their service during peak times, but traffic appeared to be stable.

Keith Anderson, of Alder Lodge, said their Talk Talk phone had been re-directed to a mobile while they only had internet access via a smartphone and were unable to respond to emails.

“We are very busy at the moment and this is the time of year that people are booking for the summer, especially after the BBC programme last week, so it’s a bad time,” he said.

SHEFA2 cable operators Faroese Telecom have said it will take up to 10 days for a cable ship to be deployed from Calais and repair the damage.

Shetland Telecom manager Marvin Smith said that the situation demonstrated the value of the £1 million investment in a Shetland fibre optic cable that provides the first leg of the resilient link protecting local users.

Shetland Telecom is hoping to extend its local cable to Vidlin this year. It currently runs from Sandwick in the south to Sella Ness in the north of the isles.