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London Mayfair exchange has kit stolen
Thursday 11 September 2008 12:23:40 by Andrew Ferguson

Apparently at around 9:30pm on Wednesday 10th September the London Mayfair exchange experienced a break-in where routers, networking cards and fibre was stolen. The Register has a little more on the incident along with a statement confirming the break-in.

We can confirm there was a break-in at our Mayfair Telephone Exchange last night (Wednesday), this is a now an ongoing police investigation and therefore we are unable to comment further.

BT apologises for any disruption caused to our customers. Our engineers are working around the clock to ensure that full service is up and running as soon as possible.

BT statement on robbery

The robbery leaves potentially thousands of people without broadband, and how fast BT will be able to get services back up and running depends on what was stolen, and repairing potential damage to hardware. Oddly no major service outage message appears to have been issued which one would have expected.

Even the size of the object is no barrier to things being stolen these days, in Pennsylvania a 120 foot wireless tower was stolen recently. Stealing of copper cables are not uncommon, with the scrap value of copper making it an attractive target, though it seems cables running alongside train tracks are more commonly stolen than BT phone wiring.

Update Friday 3pm 12th September We have been informed by BT that all wholesale services on the exchange have now been restored.

Comments

Posted by dustofnations over 8 years ago
Surely the routers would not be useful to anyone but large telcos/ISPs like BT themselves, and corporations are hardly likely to buy them?

Perhaps the thieves plan to export them to developing nation(s) which are less likely to enquire as to the sources of the 'goods'
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
I suppose it gives BT A new excuse for excessive packet loss. A variation on 'The dog ate my homework' I suppose :)
Posted by jrawle over 8 years ago
@dustofnations: you're right, they are unlikely to be of use to anyone. The thieves probably hadn't a clue what they were taking. Similarly, in the early 90s, thieves used to take "computers" from our local library. Of course, they were VT terminals so no use to the thieves. Although, they are unlikely to worry about ripping the bloke down the pub off with something useless either.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Maybe these thieves got the same leaflet as me today. About the so new home hub and its so called double the wireless range ability compared to other routers and assumed BT with that claim wouldnt miss a few bits of cable anyway as they aint needed LOL
Posted by rogan8 over 8 years ago
I susspect the thieves knew exactly what they were after , this is not the 1st time such equipment has been targeted in BT, though quite possibly the most costly yet to BT.
Posted by c_j_ over 8 years ago
Well if we see Trotters Independent Service Providers (LLU a speciality) starting up soon, we'll know where the kit came from. Otherwise, expect to see the kit in Cash Converters or eBay or the like. Unless there's more to this than at first meets the eye, and there are spooks (British or otherwise) involved... El Reg article mentions that one office affected by the outage didn't phone their IT folks till after 1pm ?!
Posted by whatever2 over 8 years ago
spooks don't need to lift gear to get what they want, these days.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"El Reg article mentions that one office affected by the outage didn't phone their IT folks till after 1pm ?!"

WOW for BT thats is super fast, they must of had their morning coffee first.
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
Which office? Nothing to do with BT?
Posted by c_j_ over 8 years ago
"spooks don't need to lift gear to get what they want, these days."

Agreed, if we're talking routine interception, however, if someone had put something special (maybe even deniable) in the exchange that needed to come out at short notice, in both cases without going through "the usual channels"... remember, this exchange is right in the middle of London's embassy zone.

Gotta go, the silent black helicopter is waiting for me.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"Which office? Nothing to do with BT?"

Of course not uncle fred owned the exchange didnt he?
Maybe BT were just appologising for things nothing to do with them with the quote of "BT apologises for any disruption caused"
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
What was this about not phoning their IT folks until 1pm? Who?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Oh i see so lets see, you think
1 BT exchange = nothing to do with BT
2 BT appologie = nothing to do with BT
3 QUOTE"Update Friday 3pm 12th September We have been informed by BT that all wholesale services on the exchange have now been restored." = Nothing to do with BT being informed when it was fixed or them having to contact anyone in the first place to get out there and fix it.
You are a genious!

Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Lets hope if this junk is sold on the black market abroad BT indian call centres buy some of it back. Maybe a new bit of cable will prevent you getting cut off on hold or the call breaking up like a dodgy mobile phone call
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
Junk - someone thinks it has value!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"Junk - someone thinks it has value!"

Obviously BT dont if it was that easy to nip in and pinch it all ;)
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