Skip Navigation


BT Paddington flood/fire update
Thursday 01 April 2010 15:43:04 by John Hunt

As an update to the flood problems reported yesterday that caused a fire in BT's North Paddington exchange, power has been largely restored to most of the site after flood water was pumped out of the building overnight. Communications services are currently being restored, and work will continue throughout the day to get things back up and running. Tiscali LLU services based at the exchange were restored by 08:30 according to a status update from Gradwell.

A recorded update on the status of the work here, for BT Total broadband customers, is available at 0800 1690199 which should detail when all is working again as there is currently no estimated time for a fix.

A photo posted to Flickr by BTCare shows the extent of the flood water which had risen to more than 18 inches.

Comments

Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
The irony a LLU service is back up and running before a BT total broadband service in a BT exchange LOL
Posted by john (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
It's probably a lot easier for Tiscali to get that up again as they would have less equipment there than BT, and BT would probably be prioritising getting phone lines and leased lines working before DSL..
Posted by rogan8 over 6 years ago
AIUI, power was restored on a floor by floor basis, so what restored 1st depended where it was located rather than which CP it belonged to, although they probably prioritised floors with critical service equipment.
Posted by TalkTalkBoy over 6 years ago
Tiscali/Cable and wireless also supply communications to a number of emergency services which Openreach may have seen as a priority.
Posted by bazcurtis over 6 years ago
Our office is just around the corner from the exchange and we had everything back by mid morning. o2 was a bit flakey, but apart from that I think BT did a great job to get it back so quickly.

Yesterday Tuesday was looking like the target, but it was back almost within 24 hours.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"Tiscali/Cable and wireless also supply communications to a number of emergency services which Openreach may have seen as a priority."

Really... Can you link to that?
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
deprioritising dsl is also backwards in the modern day. The vast majority of people now have a mobile phone and broadband is just as important or even more important to people than a landline these days.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
CB - surely emergency services take priority?
Posted by TalkTalkBoy over 6 years ago
CB, i work for them ;-)they supply the infrastructure for the airwave emergency services radios, power station lines, emergency control room lines and many more. They deal with alot of mission critical communications as well as your bog standard DSL to the home.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Emergency services Radios and power station lines were affected also?
Posted by weremog over 6 years ago
contrary to popular belief,a power supply like the one that has failed due to being drenched by an over exhuberant "hose person" doesn't react well to water.I thought they were supposed to use CO2 or Halon based extinguishers for fires near sensitive electrical equipment.
Posted by weremog over 6 years ago
And yes Carpetburn, the power supplies all appear to have been housed on the lower levels including those that served the Emergency Services Switch. However the TETRA radio system upon which the Airwave radio system resides has a fallback mode that allows the rerouting of data transmission around the affected switch. That takes a while to put into effect so the radios probably would have been used in a different mode - Direct Mode with limited functionality if indeed that had been required. I too have worked on thoses systems ;)
Posted by rogan8 over 6 years ago
I dont believe the flooding was due to extinguising the fire. Rather there was a flood from elsewhere, which caused a fire in the high voltage power supply, which the power company disconnected , which resulted in a total loss of power to the building.
Posted by atkimi over 6 years ago
Hmmm... The TCP/IP protocol which provides the backbone for the Internet was designed by the DOD in the 'States to be robust and resilient, re-routing traffic in the case of a Comms failure. Clearly not the case here where many businesses and individuals have been without the internet for some while (including my Mum and Dad) :-(
Posted by rogan8 over 6 years ago
My understanding is that the Airwave radio base stations use private circuits to link to the network. Many of these would link directly or indirectly through that building.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Id love to know where some people are getting some of their information and point to it because alot of it makes no sense at all.
If its all true it sounds design and BT of this exchange is pretty shambolic.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Must of been a hell of a lot of stuff on this mystical lower level for it all to be affected, power, private links, basically everything seems to be on this lower level according to some, what was upstairs existing wet string?
Posted by rogan8 over 6 years ago
All comes down to electricity. Everything requires electricity. Loose electrical power then everything else goes.
Posted by TalkTalkBoy over 6 years ago
Yep, as rogan said there are failsafes in place for the airwave stuff and it was likely running on backup when the private circuits went down. The same with other vital services, they all have backups :)

All the equipment in the exchange needs power and the power comes in at the basement of the exchange. Gone are the days where we had rooms full of operators manually patching calls though ;-)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Was there anything that wasnt in this magical basement? Sounds like everything was below ground level, Power, Emergency power, Emergency services comms systems.... Everything essential all in a single place............. I hope they never back up a computer system as that will also be a waste of time.
Posted by elj221c over 6 years ago
It is normal for standby diesel generators in exchanges and places like broadcastiing studios to be sited in basements. It is usual also for the street cabling to come in to an exchange via a basement cable chamber. These areas are seperate. Switches and associated equipment and distribution frames are normally above ground. Just now and again there is a disaster which no -one can predict. That's life! I am curious, though, which came first. The fire or the flood?
Posted by wultn over 6 years ago
No Fire. Sub sub sub contractors working on a 6" water main in building failed to cap off properly. As less people used the water in the evening pressure built up blowing off the cap totally flooding basement area at least 4 feet deep. 11kv transformers and supplies totally wiped out. Building currently being supplied by huge generators at street level off Bell street. Hundreds of thousands £s damage months of work to remedy. sounds like a case of Saving a few thousand has cost a few hundred thousand.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
^^^^ LOL brings whole new reasoning why BT prefer Off peak usage.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
CB - let us know when your business has a problem we can laugh at.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Will do somerset, it appears being stupid gets the goverment to invent a tax to help you improve service at the public expense, you will be the first to know when i want your money LOL
Posted by mhc over 6 years ago

People are sick and tired of CARPETBURN continually moaning about BT.

You seem to know nothing about how a telecom service provider works, how to deal with emergencies or anything else for that matter.

Why not just shut up and go back to your little hole and fester on your own rather than making everyone else read the drivel you keep spouting.

Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"People are sick and tired of CARPETBURN continually moaning about BT."
Im sick and tired of people defending them, welcome to life!
quote"You seem to know nothing about how a telecom service provider works, how to deal with emergencies or anything else for that matter."
It doesnt take a rocket scientist to realise power is down due to a fire and flood and if your backup power wasnt in the same area you would had still have it.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"Why not just shut up and go back to your little hole and fester on your own rather than making everyone else read the drivel you keep spouting."
Thats right genious i hold your eyelids open and make you read my posts dont i? I come out of a mysterious hole, grab you by the eyelids and shout into your ears read my post NOOOWWW!
Posted by andyvr over 6 years ago
I am no lover of BT... having worked for them for 37yrs,(now thankfully out!) but there are some people here who just cant seem to grasp the concept of incoming mains power entering a building at basement/sub basement level and being distributed to the equipment in the building from there. Back-up power systems.ie. diesel generators are usually also mounted at these basement levels (along with their fuel tanks/cooling systems!) partly due to their huge weight and cost logistics when installing them.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
^^^ If that were true generators at street level which were powering it all after the incident wouldnt be possible. As to generators being placed in a basement due to "their huge weight and cost logistics when installing them." Surely its more difficult to drag a big heavy thing down below ground level and costs more?
Posted by andyvr over 6 years ago
>>If that were true generators at street level which were powering it all after the incident wouldnt be possible<<
Oh dear dear dear!.... mobile generators?...probably several of them?

Well Carpetburn... You must be in the wrong profession,(whatever you do!) you should be into building design consultation, you obviously know much, much more than all of BT (and pretty much every other city building designer!)
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 6 years ago
Out of curiosity Carpetburn... how old are you? 16? 17? Cant be much more than that. You have no understanding what-so-ever of how telecommunications, planning or building design works. The 21CN network is capable of re-routing everything when issues happen, however when the point where everything terminates goes down of the **** can it re-route it? Use common sense.
Posted by zebedeeeeee over 6 years ago

Will someone please change the record - or smack CARPETBURN in the teeth.

On and on and on about BT - whatever the news or question he has to slate BT. Where would communications in this country be without the research BT has done in terrestrial, GSM, satellite and many other fields.

CARPETBURN has no real life experience and needs to SHUT UP as everyone is getting totally p'd off with his pointless and inaccurate comments
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
LOL you BT fanboys and your personal insults, you all need to calm down before your rage ignites your shares.
@ TaRkADaHl..... Thats right im only 16, and heres a typical 16 year old reply to you in song form...
http://tinyurl.com/yhkepo2
And before an idiot moans thats copyright free.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
CB - then try writing sensibly.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"CB - then try writing sensibly."

Try crawling out of that warm, brown BT place.

You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.