I have made some more phone calls to British Telecom since my last blog post, and my persistence has been rewarded because I’m now in touch with one of their high level escalation specialists. However I still haven’t had a huge amount of joy getting any convincing answers concerning exactly what went wrong with BT’s broadband service on October 3rd.
However I have had rather more success with my enquiries at Western Power Distribution. They are responsible for keeping the lights on in Newhall Street in Birmingham, and I called them up to discover if the initial version of events I gleaned from the Birmingham Mail was accurate or not. I spoke to their corporate communications department, who in turn spoke to the relevant district manager for the area in question. It seems the problem was a “catastrophic failure” in a 132 kV underground electric cable at 11:41 on the 3rd. However WPD employ “triple redundancy” on their high voltage cables. 7,295 WPD customers including BT, were initially affected, but by judicious switching to alternate supplies power was restored to every customer within 8 minutes. Western Power assured me when we spoke that original fault was in the process of being repaired, and that all 3 HV cables would be back in action soon.
This leaves a number of unanswered questions, foremost amongst which in my mind at present is the following:
If electric power was restored to British Telecom’s facilities in Birmingham by 11:49 on the morning of October 3rd, what precisely was it that caused my broadband connection to suddenly stop working at 12:32 or thereabouts?