Major London broadband outage blamed on rats

By:
James Pearce
Published on:

Customers of both Sky and TalkTalk were left without service after rodents chewed through 96 fibre cables

Broadband users in South London were left without internet services for most of the weekend after rats chewed through fibre cables.

Customers of both Sky and TalkTalk were left without service after the incident was first reported on Thursday evening, with both firms apologising for the fault.

Sky tweeted to say the service had been restored on Saturday morning, although a number of customers in the UK capital complained they were left unable to establish an internet connection.

Sky Help Team tweeted on Saturday morning: "South London. Engineers have continued to work overnight & will continue through the day. More updates to follow."

TalkTalk said affected areas included Balham, South Clapham, Streatham, Tooting, and Vauxhall, with 96 Virgin Media cables damaged overall.

Service appeared to be fully restored by Sunday 13 July. A number of customers took to Twitter to complain that the problem had taken too long to fix.

Hubert Da Costa, VP EMEA at Cradlepoint, warned operators and businesses should ensure they have in place a reliable failover for situations such as this. Da Costa added: “When wired internet connectivity experiences a service disruption businesses are exposed to risks of lost revenue, productivity and customer experience issues.  The most effective way of avoiding network downtime is to ensure there is a reliable failover.  

"Upgrading to a more robust wired connection is one possible solution – but it’s expensive and is still susceptible to outages and service disruption.  An alternative option is to bridge the inevitable gap with wireless WAN failover.  This option is quick and easy to deploy.  Ultimately, when network connections fail, there will be a loss of productivity, brand credibility and revenue.  In my experience, there are few businesses that can afford to take that risk.”