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Disruption follows Manchester BT fire

By Chris Williams. Published: 30th Mar 2004, 11:48:32 | Permalink | Printable

STD, Finnybank affected

In the early hours of Monday this week, a major fire broke out in tunnels situated deep beneath the city of Manchester. The blaze has reportedly destroyed BT cabling, leaving 130,000 telephone lines disabled while causing serious disruption to local emergency services.

The incident is a headache for RISC OS companies in the North West area, including Stuart Tyrrell Developments and Finnybank, who are subsequently suffering from the lack of telephone and internet connections.

Stuart Tyrrell told us in an email yesterday: "We are seeing some calls affected, partly as a direct consequence of the fire, and also as call routing seems to be saturating associated switches. Please do not be concerned if you hear a 'fault' tone when calling us - please try again later."

FinnbyBank, publishers of Qercus, are currently without landline or internet access. Qercus' staff writer Colin Cartmell-Browne said: "At the time of writing, BT have not given a fix by deadline although it is suspected that the problem may last for the rest of the week."

If you need to urgently get through to FinnyBank in the mean time, Colin has suggested you call their mobile number: 07747 89 88 80.


Fire cuts off 130,000 phone lines from BBC News BT fire disrupts emergency services from The Register

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The broadband at my work office has gone down because of this and I'm based in Ilkley, West Yorkshire!

I spoke to BT this morning and they told me that they only started repair work this morning because the fire brigade wouldn't let them in.

Could take some time to sort out, by the sounds of it.

 is a RISC OS Userfylfot on 30/3/04 2:26PM
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Seemingly the tunnel which had the fire was designed to supply services to a 50s underground nuclear bunker.

BT are keeping mum about whether or not the tunnel was also suppose to have been designed to be safe from fire and nuke attack. :-)


 is a RISC OS UserMiltonS on 30/3/04 2:31PM
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This must be quite a headache for BT although I'm sure they spend time planning against such possibilities being too catastrophic in their consequences. On a smaller scale, a my work around 700 machines hang from our LAN. Although not designed to survive a nuclear attack (!) we have ensured that the system could survive a fire in the IT office. (e.g twice daily backups of all files to secondary servers in another building halk a km away).

 is a RISC OS Usermartin on 31/3/04 9:38AM
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If anyone needs to email Finnybank could they please copy my email address into the message until this problem is fixed. My email is:


The latest information from BT seems to indicate that this problem *may* be fixed by the weekend.

 is a RISC OS UserCol1 on 31/3/04 2:05PM
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This must be quite a headache for BT although I'm sure they spend time planning against such possibilities being too catastrophic in their consequences.

I'm not sure I follow this.

There's always a trade-off between likelihood of occurence and the cost and downtime incurred. Your system could not surivive a fire that damaged the network infrastructure or the servers. In both cases there would be downtime while first temporary then permanent replacement infrastructure is found. You've ensured that your data can survive fire, as I'm sure BT does.

 is a RISC OS Userninja on 31/3/04 2:44PM
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or of course you could have the link that a couple of computers that I built a few years ago had - fibre optic links at the processor level separated by 34Km without boosters... :-)

they controlled our nuclear defence network

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis@work on 31/3/04 7:42PM
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Things have returned to normality here, phones and adsl back late tuesday (south manchester)

 is a RISC OS Userfluff on 31/3/04 10:10PM
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Finnybank are now up and running again.

But if you have sent an email within the last week please be patient a little longer while we try to clear the backlog.

Cheers Col

 is a RISC OS UserCol1 on 1/4/04 9:22PM
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