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Many Caithness residents lose Internet services after underwater cable is damaged

By David G Scott

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Households across Caithness are experiencing disruption to Internet services after an underwater cable was damaged between Orkney and Thurso.

Sky customers in and around Wick and Thurso have been particularly affected by the outage which started at around 5.30pm on Tuesday (January 31).

Map of outages showing area affected between Wick and Thurso.
Map of outages showing area affected between Wick and Thurso.

Openreach Ltd is responsible for the cable and one of its spokespeople told the paper: "Engineers are working in difficult weather conditions to assess the scale and nature of damage to a subsea cable between Orkney and Thurso, and establish likely repair timescales.

"Most voice and broadband services are unaffected and we’re not seeing any capacity issues or degradation in our wider network, which we’re carefully monitoring.

"However, we’re aware of some disruption for customers of one service provider in the Wick and Thurso areas, where we’re checking if local links can be rerouted, and a second provider in the Stromness area on Orkney.

"We are planning to start repairs next week."

Sky customers in Caithness who had inquired about the issue received an email yesterday which apologised for the problem. It said: "Engineers have identified the fault as a break in an undersea cable and continue to work hard to restore service." An email sent today said that the engineers were still working to restore the service but "due to the complexity of this, repair is likely to take some time".

Openreach Limited is a company wholly owned by BT Group plc, that maintains the telephone cables, ducts, cabinets and exchanges that connect nearly all homes and businesses in the UK to the national broadband and telephone network.

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