Electrical explosion in south-east London takes down network

by Joseph K. Clark

Virgin Media has confirmed it is working to restore network connectivity to homes, businesses, and schools across southeast London after an underground electrical power explosion damaged the network cabling it runs through the area.

The ISP confirmed to Computer Weekly that it is working with UK Power Networks, the organization responsible for maintaining and managing the electrical network in that part of London, to restore network connectivity to those affected.

Electrical explosion

“We are aware of an incident on the UK Power Networks electricity network which has damaged some of our underground cables and is causing a loss of services for some customers in the Lewisham area,” said a Virgin Media spokesperson.

“Our engineers are on-site and are working closely with UK Power Networks to restore services as quickly as possible. We apologize to the customers affected and are working as quickly as possible to repair the damaged cables.”

Those affected by the incident include schools across Lewisham, Bexley, Southwark, and Greenwich, part of the London Grid for Learning (LGfL) education consortium, which is concerned with improving network access quality thousands of schools across the capital.

In a statement to Computer Weekly, the LGfL said it had told its schools to brace themselves for “at least” 24 hours of service disruption because of the explosion, which is described as causing “significant collateral damage” to the area’s network fiber cabling.

“Unfortunately, due to the location of the explosion, which is under a busy roundabout, fixing this damage is likely to take at least 24 hours, given the need to make the area safe and the scale of the follow-up remedial work needed to repair cabling and infrastructure damaged by the original explosion,” said a spokesperson for the LGfL.

At the time of writing, Computer Weekly was awaiting confirmation from UK Power Networks about the root cause of the incident and when it hopes to have the problem remedied.

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