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We recently attended to a site for an emergency fibre repair call out for  suspected backbone fibre damage. Scaffold poles had been driven into the ground to provide lighting for a well known Oxfordshire annual music festival on a country estate.

The organisers crew were uncertain which pole had caused the damage and had worked from sire plans with duct routes marked on which proved to be inaccurate.

Our emergency call out team at Commswise  arrived quickly and the engineers quickly got to work. With the aid of an OTDR tester we checked either end of the affected backbone infrastructure and were able to measure the exact length to the break (1.4 kms from the main cabinet end and 0.3 from the remote end).

With the aid of a measuring wheel and by judging the rough course of the duct 4 poles were identified as the likely culprit.

Since the Estate owner did not wish the (grazing) land to be dug up each of the poles was removed by the site crew’s loader leaving a clean hole for us to inspect with a powerful torch.


Cut Fibre optic cable and 50 pair copper cable
Cut Fibre optic cable and 50 pair copper cable

The first 3 did not reveal anything but the last was different visually and with probing plastic was discovered. After excavation and as the picture below shows the pole had gone clean through a 75mm duct  completely severing the 16 core OS2 fibre and 50 pair BT cable.

Using the severed fibre as a draw wire a replacement fibre was pulled into position from the nearest underground service pit and with external splice boxes and a portable fusion splicer the fibre repair saved the day. The BT cable was repaired after the festival.

Repaired fibre optic cable in external joint box
Repaired fibre optic cable in external joint box

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