Cable breaks and consternation

It is exceptionally difficult to detail exactly what’s going on in 20 second sound bites or snippets of quotes in the written press so I’ll take the opportunity of the blog to let you all know why some people lost service in Shetland earlier this week.

There was a break in the cable between Shetland and the UK Mainland. We don’t know as yet what caused it, but it does happen from time to time.

The majority of broadband and phone customers knew nothing of the break because what happened was that all BT customers’ connections switched instantly on to Shetland Telecom network and Faroese Telecom network and were re-routed via Torshavn in Faroe on to the FARICE1 cable which also connects Faroe to the UK mainland. Some uber-geeks may have noticed somewhere in the region of an additional 10ms delay.....but for you and I, this means not a lot.

There were problems though....That afternoon we got contacted by the press asking us why Talk Talk customers had lost both broadband and (in some cases) phone connections. After some head scratching the only logical explanation is that Talk Talk (and some other service providers most likely) have decided not to purchase resilient backhaul connections from BT or Faroese Telecom.

In previous years when there has been trouble on the backhaul link between Shetland and the mainland the whole place fell apart. There was no mobile coverage, no broadband, no phone.... this time, thanks to the investment in resilient connections by Shetland Islands Council, Faroese Telecom and BT, everything carried on as per usual...unless you were a customer of a service provider that didn’t see the need for resiliency.

So the moral of the story is..... when you get a call from a service provider offering you deals on broadband and phone, ask them if they buy resilient services from Shetland. If they don’t....then I would stay clear.

My views are my own