October 13, 2011
Some Virgin Media customers in Scotland were briefly left without broadband when rats chewed cables
Virgin Media confirmed that some customers in Scotland experienced aservice outage earlier this week, after rats were found to have chewed through fibre optic cables.
Speaking to eWEEK Europe, a Virgin Media spokesperson confirmed that its services went offline for a couple of hours on Monday and then again on Tuesday. “Full service was resorted on Tuesday evening and customers are no longer affected,” said the spokesperson.
“We’re aware that a number of customers in the Kirkcaldy, Glenrothes and Leven areas may have experienced intermittent loss of their Virgin Media services from Monday morning until Tuesday evening,” said Virgin Media in a statement.
“The loss of service was due to rodent damage to some underground cabling,” it said. “On Monday morning our engineers were on site as soon as possible and worked at the highest priority to repair the damage, with service restored early evening on Monday.”
“Further damage was incurred on Tuesday afternoon and our engineers returned to repair the damage,” said Virgin Media. “We’ve now put additional measures in place to prevent further damage to our cables to avoid further disruption for our customers. We’re extremely sorry for any inconvenience caused.”
It is thought that at least 100 customers were affected by the cable damage caused by the rat attack, which must be an inherent risk when your cabling infrastructure is based in underground ducts.
However it is worth remembering that this Virgin Media outage is nowhere near the scale of the recent outage experienced by thousands of BT customers. A major power failure at a BT exchange in Birmingham was blamed for causing connectivity problems for broadband customers across the UK.
Meanwhile Virgin Media Business has published research that shows that investment in internet technologies does help businesses drive growth – presumably so long as rats arekep ta bay.
The research revealed that over two thirds of British companies believe that advances in technology are vital to the success of their business.
The Virgin Media Business study was compiled after a survey of 5,000 UK businesses. It found that cloud computing and e-Commerce technologies are the most valued, with 32 percent citing cloud computing investments as significantly benefitting their company. This was closely followed by e-Commerce solutions, at 27 percent.
The study also found that more and more staff are demanding to use their own devices (smartphones etc) in the workplace. Virgin Media said that this worker demand for consumer gadgets in the workplace has now reached a tipping point, going from nice-to-have to must-have.
The study found that 70 percent ofowners would rather give up alcohol than be without their phone.
And it seems as though businesses are taking this demand in hand, with 23 percent letting staff members choose whatever kind of device will suit them best for work.
“With more organisations embracing new technologies, the business world is clearly showing it’s open to change,” said Virgin Media Business’ director, corporate sector, Andy Marshall. “New technologies such as cloud computing are helping smaller players to compete on the same stage as massive corporates because of economies of scale.”
Marshall said that computing cloud also helps businesses become far more responsive, besides the usual cost benefits.
“This can help companies to make huge productivity gains, with workers being able to access corporate information on the go, or by working from home, which has been proven to improve morale by addressing employee’s work and life balance,” said Marshall.