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Community / Cable fault the third reported in waters around Shetland since mid-September

In addition a fibre optic cable in Yell was broken on Wednesday during construction work, but there was no impact on service

The SHEFA-2 cable network. Image: TeleGeography

THERE have now been three cable breaks and faults on telecommunications cables around Shetland in just over a month.

Vast swathes of Shetland lost broadband and mobile phone connection on Thursday after a fault in the subsea cable which runs south of Shetland to Orkney.

It was also revealed that there was a fault on cable west of Shetland, between the isles and Faroe, on 14 October.

But Faroese Telecom managing director Páll Højgaard Vesturbú has confirmed to Shetland News that there was also a break on the same Faroe-Shetland cable on 15 September.

All incidents, on the SHEFA-2 cable network, are thought to be related to fishing gear.

Vesturbú said the hope is for the 14 October break to be fully repaired on Saturday. The September fault has been repaired.

Speaking late on Thursday night, Vesturbú said regarding the fault which affected Shetland: “The break that happened after midnight did affect the fibres in the cable, but they were not cut off.

“Technicians have been working all day to restore services to the extent possible, and the situation is now improved, so most of the services in Shetland are back up and running.”

The SHEFA-2 cable runs from Tórshavn to Maywick in Shetland, then from Sandwick onto Orkney and the Scottish mainland.

Following the break in September, traffic to the Faroe Islands was routed through other cables, so services there were not affected.

It is not just in the waters around Shetland, though, that there have been issues with cables recently.

A fibre optic cable in Yell was broken near Burravoe during some construction work on Wednesday. The cable is part of Shetland Islands Council’s fibre optic network.

Shetland Telecom’s Marvin Smith said: “The fibre break in Yell has not caused any service loss. The broken cable is part of the resilient loop in Yell so all traffic diverted and no service was lost.”

Work is ongoing to repair the break.

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