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Community / More digital disruption as cable repairs get underway

Repair work on the damaged Shefa-2 cable was carried out at the end of October off Shetland by the cable repair ship Cable Vigilance. Photo: Ronnie Robertson.

SOME internet services in the isles were again offline on Wednesday as efforts to repair the damaged Shefa-2 cable got underway earlier but had to be postponed due to weather and sea conditions.

Openreach, which maintains the UK’s broadband network, confirmed late this afternoon that further outages for some of its customers would happen once repairs resumed.

The cable repair ship Cable Vigilance arrived overnight a mile off Troswick, to the east of the South Mainland, to commence with repairs of the damaged section of the subsea cable.

Last Thursday, almost all digital services in Shetland were offline when the already damaged subsea cable was hit for a second time, believed to be by fishing gear.

Services were relatively quickly restored after Shefa-2 owner Faroese Telecom were able to reroute connectivity within the damaged cable.

However, as permanent repairs get underway, some Openreach customers will experience disruptions.

A spokesperson for Openreach Scotland said: “A small number of residents may not have access to some services while permanent repairs are carried out on the damaged Shefa-2 cable.

“For technical reasons, the temporary fix can’t be maintained while this work is done.

“It’s not been possible to give precise timescales for the down time due to local weather conditions. Poor weather has meant repairs today have now been postponed and the temporary fix is back in place.

“We’re sorry for this disruption to service, which is beyond our control. We expect further down time to occur when weather conditions allow the work to go ahead safely.”

The spokesperson continued saying that the majority of traffic, which has resilient routing, is unaffected.

BT customers on the cable are unaffected from the work that Faroese Telecom is doing.

The company said: “BT customers have had working service since we restored the link on Thursday afternoon.”

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