Damage To JT Cables ‘Unprecedented’

29th November 2016

JT is dealing with ‘unprecedented’ damage to three of its underwater cables linking us to the UK.

Three out of four of its international submarine cables were severed by a ship dragging its anchor along the seabed yesterday evening.jt

A number of other cables in the area were also cut.

All mobile and broadband traffic from the Channel Islands is now being routed via the submarine link with France instead, and this is expected to have an impact on these services in the islands.

Engineers have been dispatched to the scene and should be working on fixing the problem within the next 24 hours.

Daragh McDermott, Director of Corporate Affairs for JT, said:

“We would like to sincerely apologise to our customers for any disruption to their services.

“We are working as quickly as we can to get our undersea cables repaired, and normal service resumed, and will keep customers up-to- date with what is an extremely challenging emergency engineering operation at sea.

“It is exceptionally unlucky and unprecedented for three submarine cables to the UK to be cut in the same day, and it proves the value of having multiple links in the network, in order to provide a back-up connection via France.

“There are lots of cables running across the seabed, and we understand that it is not just JT who have been affected in this way, with other cables also having been cut.”

Sure has also been affected as it jointly owns the cables with JT and BT. The damage is reported to have occurred near to Alderney.

The operator says all its services are working, with the exception of calls to a few premium numbers.

Work to repair the cables could take up to three weeks, but it says it can provide a temporary service instead.

sure-logoEddie Saints, Chief Executive of Sure, said:

“Sure’s multi million pound investment in the HUGO subsea cable infrastructure operated without fault, demonstrating our ability to provide leading telecommunication services despite an unprecedented incident such as this.

Our engineering teams worked through the night to put in place measures to divert our voice traffic through the HUGO network as well as to provide specialist technical support and infrastructure to JT, who had all direct UK submarine cables severed, impacting a number of JT’s services. Sure continues to support JT with re-routing their consumer and business traffic via Sure’s HUGO network.

Sure, JT and BT in the UK are joint system owners and are working together to organise emergency repairs to the damaged undersea cables. We anticipate that the subsea infrastructure repair will take up to three weeks and we will keep customers up-to- date on progress.

Sure would like to thank customers for their patience and understanding during this critical situation, and our engineering teams who worked throughout the night to get Sure’s voice services back online.”

A spokesman for Airtel-Vodafone has confirmed its customers have not been affected.

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