We have received reports that BT contractors yesterday knocked out the power to over 400 homes and businesses for several hours whilst installing a new cabinet to house their fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) equipment.
Contractors are reported to have struck an 11,000 volt power cable running beneath the site where the cabinet was to be housed whilst installing an 1.5m long earthing rod. The cable owned by Scottish Power/Manweb provides power from a main distribution transformer to a sub-station around 2 miles from the cable strike.
Kevin Doherty, a local resident keen to subscribe to the FTTC broadband service took the photos below. In order to fix the high voltage cables, the power company has to dig several metres into his garden to install a new junction box and cable. When problems such as this occur, we understand that it is normal practice to replace the cable five metres in each direction from the break. We also understand no one was injured during the accident.
"I just hope this does not delay my getting FTTC, being this close to the BT Box would ensure a good connection for me, but I did not expect it to require me to have my garden dug-up in the process."Kevin Doherty, local resident
The Middlewich exchange is scheduled to have fibre-to-the-cabinet services available from September 2010.