Thieves strike BT's Stepney Green exchange

On Thursday BT was forced to deal with a "serious incident" at its Stepney Green Exchange in London following a break-in. It's believed that some essential hardware was stolen, which has downed broadband services for a number of UK ISPs with 21CN (WBC/WBMC) links out of Docklands.

The problems and related theft are believed to have occurred earlier in the morning, with some ISPs first reporting the issue around 7am (AAISP Blog). It is expected to be several more hours before service can be restored.

The break-in is similar to an incident that took place at BT's Mayfair exchange earlier this month, where essential routers, network cards and fibre were stolen, knocking many voice and Internet services offline.

The Stepney Green Exchange is believed to serve over 16,000 residential premises and more than 500 non-residential premises. Many ISPs could be affected.

Service was finally restored yesterday afternoon. BT confirmed that a physical break-in had occurred, resulting in the theft of nine network cards and causing service failures on 21C WBC Broadband services for a number of ISPs. Police investigations are underway.

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