Prolateral Consulting Ltd
Prolateral Consulting Ltd

It would appear that at 13.20 yesterday (9th March) someone or something dug through a major artery of information, disconnecting Luton and the surrounding exchanges from many of their connections to the rest of the Internet.  ISPs affected include Sky, Nildram, Tiscali, Be, O2, PlusNet; with users unable to get access to their ADSL broadband connections. 

Nearly all businesses, and many people's lives, are now tied to The Internet. In the last twenty years it has moved from the corporate environment and computer geeks to the mainstream, with website addresses on all hoardings, radio and television. So when connectivity is ripped out - literally in this case, by a digger - people flounder without their connection to the 'Net.

Roadworks dig up the Internet

Information from Sky, BT and BE indicates that primary fibre-optic links connecting the exchanges at Houghton Regis, Luton, Leagrave, Hitchin, Letchworth and Harpenden to the rest of the Internet were broken by road-works. 

By about midday today (10th March) one of the seven SDH (155Mbps optical fibres) links had been repaired, but safety concerns were slowing the skilled work required to re-connect high-speed fibre links.  Even now at 21.30, many of the exchange lines are still down, with the primary Telco involved (according to Sky) indicating that repairs may run well into tomorrow.

Update: Apparently works on the street-lighting on the A5 at Flamstead "dug up" the cable duct holding nearly 150 optical-fibre links. Witnesses report about 10 BT Openreach vans, including a satellite-dish-equipped Major Incident BT truck.

Update: Leagrave and Harpenden exchanges now confirmed as back on line. [11-Mar 10am]

In these days of Internet dependency you would think that redundant links would be in place, but this is obviously not the case.  However, many of our clients are still up and working, as it is a subset of Internet Service Providers that is affected.

Consider Redundant ISPs

Those clients for whom the Internet is business-critical have already taken steps to ensure business continuity by working with Prolateral to put multiple ADSL lines into their premises. This provides them with more available bandwidth when all is working normally; and ensures that they remain connected and working even when there are problems.

Updates from BE and Sky indicate that by midnight some more of the fibres have been repaired - but there is no ETR (estimated time to repair) for the other fibres as more excavation is required.

If you are concerned about your business-resilience and dependency on a single ISP, contact us for impartial, expert, business-essential advice.

Status Updates

If you have access to the Internet, you can find more information at:-


Hitchin Exchange status


Luton Exchange status


Leagrave Exchange status


Harpenden Exchange Status

About Prolateral

Prolateral Consulting is in business to put your organisation back in control of your own Information Technology, specialising in information and messaging security, computer forensic services, and disaster recovery planing.

Contact Info

Prolateral Consulting Ltd
Luton, Bedfordshire, UK
Tel : +44 (0) 8450 763760
Email : This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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