back to article Attacks on UK fiber networks mount: Operators beg govt to step in

Alternative network providers are calling on UK government to help protect against a growing number of local physical attacks on fiber infrastructure. The group, led by Ogi and Vorboss, has written to Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology Michelle Donelan asking for a review of the rules that safeguard …

  1. abend0c4 Silver badge

    Pouring in petrol, and setting the whole lot alight

    The arrival of United Artists (the cable franchise that later went on to form part of Virgin Media) in the north-east of England was celebrated in this manner by the local ne'er-do-wells some decades ago. Having brought them high-speed Internet to show off videos of their handiwork, it's a surprise it's taken so long to become endemic.

    1. NeilPost

      Re: Pouring in petrol, and setting the whole lot alight

      Could well be retribution attacks for the chaos caused around town by dangerous illegal wildcat ‘mobile roadworks’ (if there is such a thing) - Vodafone owned CityFibre has been particularly impactful in my town - replication of service already provided by Virgin Media Cable and BT 21CN fibre rollout in town.

  2. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

    Burglars love cutting them

    I used to live next to a Rugby club... every time it got burgled (which was often) they'd lift the manhole cover for the telephone cables and just cut them to disable the alarm... Not just the rugby clubs though... the WHOLE LOT.

    We'd wake up on a Sunday morning every couple of months to no phone service... and BT would only repair the ones that actually managed to tell them. They wouldn't repair ALL of the cut ones at the same time. So anyone who was away or out and didn't know had to wait until they actually discovered it and was able to log it with BT...

    The poor guy was back and forth repairing cables in all weathers at all times of the day because of this. It probably affected up to 60-70 homes at a time.

    1. Eclectic Man Silver badge

      Re: Burglars love cutting them

      I suspect that the burglars were keen to ensure the Rugby club's alarm was disabled as quickly as possible, so just cut all the phone lines instead of trying to find the 'correct' one. Also pouring petrol down the service area and setting light to it probably disables the alarms, and might be quicker than getting in there with wire cutters.

      The other reason for chopping through telecoms cables was theft. One person would chop the cables at one access point, another person at another access point , tie them to the back of a van and haul them out, load them up and sell the copper for scrap. But when they cut through fibre-optics, they see the little blinking lights and realise they have cut the wrong cables and just leave.

      1. I could be a dog really Bronze badge

        Re: Burglars love cutting them

        And is why any half decent monitoring system also has backup - typically via the mobile networks.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hostile state action ?

    This is exactly the sort of thing I can see foreign state actors getting up to.

    Why ?

    Because it serves to fuel the narrative the UK is on it's last legs Which becomes apparent when you turn to see who you have in power to deal with it.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: Hostile state action ?

      Certain adversaries do fund or support in other ways any kind of nutters to cause economic or reputational damage or both.

      Unfortunately this seems to be above the paygrade of our intelligence services.

      1. cyberdemon Silver badge
        Alien

        TikTok

        Promote videos of thugs pouring petrol into service ducts to other thugs likely to do the same

        ???

        Profit

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Hostile state action ?

        Our intelligence services are intelligent?

        Stakeknife: Report says Army's top IRA spy cost more lives than he saved

      3. stiine Silver badge

        Re: Hostile state action ?

        Except for the ones in the Red Sea.

    2. Tom Paine

      Re: Hostile state action ?

      There was a mini outbreak of such attacks in France in the first few months following the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Thd Nordstream gas pipeline sabotage happened around the same time. I saw a fair bit of speculation ftom people eho know a lit about OSINT, geopolitics and covert ops, */but not much about carrier-scale networking/*, that it was Russian-sympathasising or controlled actors. (This was before the incredible people on Bellingcat's public Discord server established that Nordstream was probably down to an independent op by a loose cannon Ukranian oligarch; see the Nordstream thread over there for far, far more than you ever wanted to know about AIS, webcams at German yacht clubs and the like.) Then again, the Hairy Ivans really *did* have people running round Paris spraying Star of David symbols around the place. Pef the NATO Handbook or Russian Information Warfare, one of their major strategies is to spread so much confusion that people give up trying to figure out what's true and what's not, and disengage from what some academics call "politics" (including caring, or even having an opinion about, anything much going on in society.)

    3. Dimmer Silver badge

      Re: Hostile state action ?

      We have this guy called bubba. He has a backhoe and just hates those pesky black and orange roots.

      Every time this happens, I hop in the car and drive around. It only takes a few min and I spot bubba.

      He tells me, see all those flags way over there? Just wait a few min and you will magically see more appear right here.

      Sure enough, within 5 min this guy comes racing down the street, screeches to a halt next to the hole. In one swift moment new flags appear in and around the new hole. He Jumps back in and quickly is down the road and out of site.

      Another 5 min a rep from the phone co pulls in and swaggers over to bubba. Sir! Do you know how much damage you have done? It is in the thousands, this is going to cost YOU.

      Bubba spit out a bit of chew and looks him squarely in the eye and told him the dreaded 3 words. I took pictures.

      As bubba was moving his backhoe to a new spot, I told the now nervous manager, Yep, it was not flagged till your guy did it 10 min ago. I think this on is on you guys.

      Tru story. Alway take pictures before you start.

      1. Claverhouse Silver badge

        Re: Hostile state action ?

        Is Bubba mentally ill ?

        1. VicMortimer Silver badge
          Angel

          Re: Hostile state action ?

          Nope. You're misunderstanding the story.

          Bubba called the "call before you dig" line. They sent somebody out to put down flags indicating where the lines were. They failed to mark where Bubba was going to dig. Bubba proceeded to dig where he was informed that there were no utilities. Bubba had dealt with this shit before, so before he started digging, he took pictures of the area that had no flags.

          Then he started digging where there were no marking flags. He dug up a previously unmarked line. Somebody raced out, put down flags where he'd dug to make it look like he'd just ignored them. Telco guy shows up, threatens Bubba. Bubba informs telco guy that he had photographic evidence that there were no flags before he dug.

          Telco gets to pay for repairs, because it wasn't Bubba's fault.

    4. wobball

      Re: Hostile state action ?

      Yep, this does seem a plausible explanation that would warrant some inspection.

      I also wonder if the sustained attacks on MS infrastructure are behind the piss poor performance of their online products of late(Azure AD, I'm looking at you!) or if they are doing that themselves with an opportunity to screw things up every patch Tuesday.

  4. Spazturtle Silver badge

    Under the bloody code over 220 crimes were punishable by the death penalty, it is time to bring it back. Punch somebody in a bar? Death. Set a 5G tower on fire? Death. Etc.

    1. Filippo Silver badge

      Did that actually work? I mean, was the crime rate lower?

      Yeah, thought so.

      1. Spazturtle Silver badge

        Yes, removing people who are genetically predisposed to violence from the gene pool had a long lasting effect of reducing violent crime in the UK.

        1. John H Woods Silver badge

          Using phrases such as "Genetically predisposed to violence" ...

          ... is a pretty good way of demonstrating you've never studied genetics. Or history.

          1. Spazturtle Silver badge

            Re: Using phrases such as "Genetically predisposed to violence" ...

            We accept that genetics have a role in behaviour in every other animals but somehow we are meant to believe that humans are magically different.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Using phrases such as "Genetically predisposed to violence" ...

              So, you are going down the "don't trust different breeds of human" route, are you?

              Isn't there a name for that?

              1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

                Re: Using phrases such as "Genetically predisposed to violence" ...

                Only if you believe that a genetic predisposition to violence correlates with a genetic predisposition to darker skin, and there is certainly a name for that.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Using phrases such as "Genetically predisposed to violence" ...

                  > Only if you believe that a genetic predisposition to violence correlates with a genetic predisposition to darker skin

                  Nope, you are the only one bringing skin colour into it. Let alone that is has to be those of a darker skin who are the more violent. Maybe making that claim says something about you?

                  Heck, just the idea that the word you are thinking off is tied solely to skin colour occurs only in a certain sort of mind, one that is more preoccupied with their own beliefs than reading the news across the world (or history).

                  Any attempt to follow spazturtle's love of eugenics will, by definition, create a split between different breeds of human. One of these breeds will be given preference over the other.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Using phrases such as "Genetically predisposed to violence" ...

                  I don't think skin colour has anything to do with anything, except scientifically proven Vitamin D production rates...but culture does.

                  Convictions for violent crime tend to be fairly equal across cultural groups, but the size of the groups is not equal. So based on incidents alone, you can't really say that one particular group of people is more violent than another...this suits the folks that like to believe differences between groups don't exist...however, if you line up the number of convictions with the populations of various groups in a given area, cultural tendencies aside, just raw numbers...things look a lot different.

                  Let's imagine that our local violent crime convictions for a given week look like this:

                  Group 1: 1

                  Group 2: 1

                  Group 3: 1

                  Group 4: 1

                  Group 5: 1

                  It's equal right, each group just as violent as the other...job done, everyone is the same people...let's go home.

                  Or are they?

                  What if the population distribution looked like this:

                  Group 1 population: 95%

                  Group 2 population: 3%

                  Group 3 population: 1%

                  Group 4 population: 0.7%

                  Group 5 population: 0.3%

                  Would you still think that violent crime is equally distributed? Because these stats show that 5% of the population is responsible for 80% of the violent crime.

                  This is how the stats look across a lot of the UK where that rough population distribution exists. You can find these stats for yourself. Go and have a look. See what conclusions you draw. Keep an open mind.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: Using phrases such as "Genetically predisposed to violence" ...

                Science, you moron.

            2. John H Woods Silver badge

              Re: Using phrases such as "Genetically predisposed to violence" ...

              >>We accept that genetics have a role in behaviour in every other animals but somehow we are meant to believe that humans are magically different.

              Nope, that's a straw man: everyone accepts genetics has at least some role in behaviour. That does not mean you can identify a genetic predisposition to violence nor, even if there were, would it ever be strong enough from you to deduce criminality from genetics.

              1. Dr Dan Holdsworth
                Boffin

                Re: Using phrases such as "Genetically predisposed to violence" ...

                Actually, in very broad terms you *CAN* point to a genetic link to violence; possession of a Y chromosome is one very good marker.

                Yes, I know it has a huge false positive rate.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Using phrases such as "Genetically predisposed to violence" ...

                  Yeah but the data we have there, whilst deep, is skewed because equality wasn't present for most of the dataset. We need another century or two for the data to even itself out.

              2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

                Re: Using phrases such as "Genetically predisposed to violence" ...

                That does not mean you can identify a genetic predisposition to violence nor, even if there were, would it ever be strong enough from you to deduce criminality from genetics.

                How do you know? Has this been studied?

            3. RegGuy1 Silver badge

              Re: Using phrases such as "Genetically predisposed to violence" ...

              I think I've spotted a Brexiter. :-(

              1. Trigun

                Re: Using phrases such as "Genetically predisposed to violence" ...

                Please don't go down that particular route: It's a bit lazy, doesn't help and builds resentment.

                1. RegGuy1 Silver badge
                  Unhappy

                  Re: Using phrases such as "Genetically predisposed to violence" ...

                  I was being deadly[1] serious.

                  The link between Brexit and the death penalty

                  Respondents to the survey were also questioned on their views on other things, such as the death penalty - and this provides a much better indicator of how people voted, Westlake argues.

                  "If you look at attitudes to questions such as, 'Do you think criminals should be publicly whipped?' or 'Are you in favour of the death penalty?' - those things are much better predictors, and you get over 70% accuracy," he says.

                  [1] Sorry!

                  1. Henry 8

                    Re: Using phrases such as "Genetically predisposed to violence" ...

                    P(brexiteer | supports death penalty) != P(supports death penalty | brexiteer)

                    The Rev Bayes wants a word...

                  2. Trigun

                    Re: Using phrases such as "Genetically predisposed to violence" ...

                    What I'm getting at is that's vastly over generalisaing. I didn;'t vote for Brexit, but K know people who did and they certainly don't hold those views. Seems to be just a way of demonising a bunch of people.

              2. Jedit Silver badge
                Stop

                "I think I've spotted a Brexiter."

                Nah, just a Daily Mail jihadi posting from his kampfy chair in Tunbridge Wells.

          2. TheMeerkat

            Re: Using phrases such as "Genetically predisposed to violence" ...

            Predisposition to violence is genetic. Note the term “predisposition”, there is still a chance to ameliorate it by early childhood training.

            Unless you prefer a religion on woke to the actual science and prefer to pretend that “inconvenient science” does not exist.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Using phrases such as "Genetically predisposed to violence" ...

              > Predisposition to violence is genetic. Note the term “predisposition”, there is still a chance to ameliorate it by early childhood training.

              Let's beat up violence out of these kids FFS.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Using phrases such as "Genetically predisposed to violence" ...

              > Predisposition to violence is genetic.

              That's called being an animal (of the nature sense).

              There might be a few weirdo's who for whatever mental reason can't do violence, but for everyone else it's part of what's kept evolution ticking along.

              When you remove violence as an option, that group becomes extremely vulnerable to predators. It's not a survivable path.

              1. EBG

                have an upvote

                I can't fathom of the reasoning of those who have down voted you. I am very much a non-violent type. But I married someone from a country which is societally much more aggressive than the UK. I have learned that, when there, there are regular occasions have to give out heavy "don't mess with me" signals, or I will get pissed on.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: have an upvote

                  Oh, and surely, this is genetic. As opposed to cultural.

                  And the "don't mess with me" signals are genetic too?

                  1. EBG

                    Re: have an upvote

                    No. Absolutely not genetic. The same people who I know will behave in a civilised way in the UK, as I do. For me personally, it is learned behaviour later in life, essential to being able to operate in that environment.

          3. Wzrd1 Silver badge

            Re: Using phrases such as "Genetically predisposed to violence" ...

            Well, there is one species that is genetically predisposed to violence, it being even more violent than its closest peer species, pan troglodytes, pan sapiens, aka homo sapiens.*

            *How to start a riot at a taxonomist convention: Pop into the pub at closing time and shout, "is it pan sapiens or homo troglodytes", then run like hell.

        2. Barrie Shepherd

          "Yes, removing people who are genetically predisposed to violence from the gene pool had a long lasting effect of reducing violent crime in the UK."

          But the ones that were not caught lived on to breed and we are where we are :-)

          1. stiine Silver badge
            Facepalm

            No, the parents and siblings of the miscreants weren't removed from the gene pool. That is the problem.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Traits are polygenic, genes are pleyotropic

          > people who are genetically predisposed to violence

          There are only 20000 genes in the human genome. There can't be one for each trait. Most genes work in combination with others (non Mendelian genes). So, it's a mesh of mutual interactions and feedback loops reacting to ever changing environmental conditions in various cell types. Add epigenetics on top of this to fine tune adaptation speed, just to make things even more complex.

          In short, life has had 4 billion years to makes things work, correcting previous random engineering errors through new random design mistakes. Yet, we've had less than two centuries to unravel that mesh and we're just getting started. So, nobody's ever found the "gene of violence" yet, and nobody probably ever will. Even if there were a dozen of genes directly contributing to "violence" (e.g. testosterone upregulation) and we were to root them all out from the gene pool, the odds are we'd end up with a non viable genome altogether (e.g. testosterone has so many non-violence related functions).

          1. TheMeerkat

            Re: Traits are polygenic, genes are pleyotropic

            > Even if there were a dozen of genes directly contributing to "violence" (e.g. testosterone upregulation) and we were to root them all out from the gene pool, the odds are we'd end up with a non viable genome altogether (e.g. testosterone has so many non-violence related functions).

            If you understood science, you would know that finding a specific gene is not a requirement for stating that there is a genetic predisposition.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Francis Galton?

              I come to this forum, precisely, to "understand science" from enlightening comments like yours. I don't read Brooker or Goldberg anymore: I avidly peruse your one-liners. Please feel free to contribute a paragraph on GWAS. I'm in no doubt this is the kind of information that will help @Spazturtle figure things out.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          You know that to, remove from the gene pool the genetic traits you've identified from one person's actions, you are going to have to get rid of their family as well (or just make sure they are sterilised/have no option to breed)?

          Including - especially - the children, no matter how young.

          How far across the family do we go?

          Presumably, you are going to get all the best tested advice from places like the pig breeders association and ensure they are added into your system.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Take it to Stormfront, nazi asshole.

      2. herman Silver badge

        Pretty sure no 5G towers were lit on fire in the middle ages.

        1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

          Nah, they all were. That's why we don't have any medieval 5G towers any more.

          1. that one in the corner Silver badge

            What about that iron pillar in Delhi, the one that doesn't rust? Clearly, that is the prototype 5G mast, what else could explain it?

            By the time 5G got to Northern Europe, a couple of hundred years later (a trend OpenReach proudly continues), we had a slimmer, more cellulose-based, design which was sadly subject to damage because "it was clearly the work of the devil": a misunderstanding of the purpose of the dual helical cone antennae arrangement.

    2. Patrician

      The USA has the death penalty in some states; are their crime figures less than ours per capita? Thought not.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Transportation

      Surely we're more civilised than that - transportation is surely the most appropriate penalty?

      Send them to Rwanda!

      1. Ace2 Silver badge

        Re: Transportation

        Or Texas

        1. GBE

          Re: Transportation

          Or Texas

          Too cruel — surely the courts would never allow that.

          1. Snowy Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: Transportation

            Not sure the courts will allow them to be sent anywhere.

      2. Barrie Shepherd

        Re: Transportation

        Only agreement / space for 200 there

      3. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Transportation

        Rwanda's too good for them... send them to westminster... might actually increase the percentage of law abiding citizens.

      4. k492

        Re: Transportation

        Or just pass a law to say that the fibre hasn't been cut....

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      If you have a death penalty you give criminals no incentive to surrender when left with little other options such as killing people to escape. You have no incentive for prisoners waiting for death to behave. The death penalty is also not a deterrent because criminals surprising don't intend on being caught so rarely consider the consequences plus you have just now made witnesses vulnerable because you put them in a get rid of them or the criminal dies situation. Finally, statistics show it just doesn't work. In the example below murder rates were actually higher in death penalty states,

      https://deathpenaltyinfo.org/facts-and-research/murder-rates/murder-rate-of-death-penalty-states-compared-to-non-death-penalty-states

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If you have a death penalty

        This may be convincing at a first glance, but you are missing the fact that everyone dies at some point, so we all have "death penalty" looming. Just that "misbehaviour" could bring it slightly forward.

        The death penalty is also not a deterrent because criminals surprising don't intend on being caught so rarely consider the consequences

        This is not merely a deterrent; it represents the permanent removal of destructive actors from society, thereby freeing it from the unjustified burden of sustaining their lives. Additionally, it ensures that the risk of their reintegration into society is precisely zero. While in the UK, the risk of an earthquake or another such event leading to the inadvertent release of prisoners may be low, it raises the question of why individuals who have done nothing wrong should bear the cost of perpetrators of most heinous crimes effectively being rewarded with a perpetual, all-inclusive holiday.

        1. ChrisC Silver badge

          "This may be convincing at a first glance, but you are missing the fact that everyone dies at some point, so we all have "death penalty" looming. Just that "misbehaviour" could bring it slightly forward."

          Except that natural death is generally random, generally unpredictable, and isn't tied into a specific action taken by the individual, so it doesn't alter how we behave - we just get on and live our lives. Yes, we all die, but HOW we die plays a rather more pertinent role in how we behave up to that point than you're giving it credit for.

          "This is not merely a deterrent; it represents the permanent removal of destructive actors from society, thereby freeing it from the unjustified burden of sustaining their lives."

          It has also permanently removed entirely innocent people from society, and will continue to do so for as long as countries continue to have the death penalty on their statute books. The burden making such a mistake places on society should be immeasurably high, making whatever costs are incurred by keeping criminals locked away for life pale into insignificance.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          You are basically saying it's justified to kill people using a system that is not completely infallible, in fact the last person hanged was innocent. You then base this on cost as though human life can be measured against money. Lastly, you speak of this perpetual, all-inclusive holiday which is ridiculous if you actually knew the state of our prisons. If you think 23-hour lockup, shitting in a bucket and sharing a cell with 3-4 other criminals is a holiday you must be mad. That's your true deterrent.

          Another thought though is how many people have been found innocent after spending 20 years behind bars? They would all be dead now. Do you think that's acceptable?

        3. Adair Silver badge

          Are you therefore prepared to argue that some people have no capacity for violent behaviour?

          Obviously that is statistical bollocks, we could never be certain of anyone being incapable of violence towards others. Therefore, in practice, we must consider ALL human beings as having some degree of predisposition to violent behaviour. Where do you plan on drawing the line, presumably you would place yourself outside the 'violent' side.

          Alternatively, after you have pre-emptively executed everyone else, don't forget to top yourself, thereby proving the rule and obviating the risk. Parthenogenesis is a thing you know—it wouldn't do to take any chances.

          1. werdsmith Silver badge

            If there were no penalty for violence or murder, I would still look after the welfare of anyone, including my worst enemy.

            1. Adair Silver badge

              Of course, shouldn't you/we all take that view, and carry it out—to care for others as a matter of principle? But that says nothing about the supposed, and real, predisposition of human beings to violence.

              At a genetic level (and probably any level), to seek to categorise and define human beings according to some arbitrary threshold of 'predisposition' is both nonsensical and wicked.

              Whether any of us are more, or less, likely to behave violently through genetic inheritance and/or environmental factors, we all have agency—are capable of choice, and awareness of the consequences of our actions. We are responsible beings (excepting those who are too ill/damaged to sensibly be regarded as being capable of taking responsibility).

      2. Catkin Silver badge

        I'd go much simpler than that and ask any death penalty proponent: 'if I put all the senior members of your government and justice system (wherever you live) in a room, handed them each a loaded pistol and told them there would be no repercussions for their actions would you willingly walk into that room?'

        1. Sherrie Ludwig

          I'd go much simpler than that and ask any death penalty proponent: 'if I put all the senior members of your government and justice system (wherever you live) in a room, handed them each a loaded pistol and told them there would be no repercussions for their actions would you willingly walk into that room?'

          No, I'd say "welcome to the USA." It's gotten crazy over here.

          1. Catkin Silver badge

            Gotten? American politics is a contact sport. The US Capitol alone has seen everything from journalists (1890) to Puerto Rican independence advocates (1954) demonstrating their extreme displeasure with legislators within its walls.

    5. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge
      Trollface

      We could extend that to people who vote tory, or EDL or the reform party... perhaps we should just burn them at the stake like witches... thjnk of that lovely smell of gammon wafting over the land.

      1. Trigun

        Ok I'll take the bait on this one. Wishing death on those who you don't agree point s a bit oif a dirty finger back at you as being the problem.

        1. Catkin Silver badge

          I think it's worth a scientific trial. Anyone expressing a wish to execute political opponents, simply for expressing their beliefs, could be executed and we could then see how well the idea of political executions endures. Any further proponents will also be executed.

          If the idea endures, then they're probably not very effective, so we can stop executions. If it goes away, we can stop executions because no one alive supports the idea.

        2. The Dogs Meevonks Silver badge

          Woosh

          That's the oh so obvious sound of you entirely missing the sarcasm that my post was dripping with... did you even see what/who I was replying too?

          Hint - it was the troll with the amphibious username.

          1. Trigun

            Re: Woosh

            *ahem* r/wooosh

            Also: Fair enough

    6. two00lbwaster

      Well I was thinking of a year on an isolated island without Internet access and food only parachuted in, or something. You know, show them what it's like to be completely cut off from the world.

      1. Tom Paine

        In the books, Doctor Doolittle would put a brick through s police station window every now and then, because in a cell he could get peace and quiet snd settle down to write another treatise on how the Pushmipullyou defecated, or giant sea-snails as submarine transport, and so forth.

        I doubt that tactic would work very well these days though.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Do you mean Gaza?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        That actually worked out pretty well for Australia. Might take ~200 years for things to come good though.

    7. Confucious2

      Death?

      I disagree with the death penalty in almost all cases, but I think they should make an exception for interrupting my internet service.

      1. Korev Silver badge
        Pirate

        Re: Death?

        That and the people who speak on their phones whilst holding them horizontally...

        1. John Robson Silver badge

          Re: Death?

          Meh - how should I hold my phone Mr PhonePoliceMan.

          The only part of it which matters when taking a call is the microphone, since the received audio is streamed to my hearing aids. Reception is generally not orientation dependent any more.

          In most places the microphone is good enough that I can leave it on the table, or in a shirt pocket, or on the dashboard etc... but in a noisy environment I might want to make the mic as effective as possible, and that means in front of my mouth - pointing towards my mouth.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Death?

            "that means in front of my mouth - pointing towards my mouth."

            You know when the holes are on the bottom edge of the 'phone, they design the mics to not be held with the grille pointing directly into your mouth? Whilst the ones with the grille on the front face have the sensor set back (inside its little solid surface mount block)? Almost as if they knew what they were doing and built the thing to be held normally.

            Still, hope the people you are calling like the excess wind noise.

            1. John Robson Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: Death?

              In front of my mouth doesn't mean "in line with my plosives", or "in line with my exhalation", it does mean in line with the highest sound level. Of course most people have no mic technique at all, so I can understand the confusion.

              The traditional position to hold a phone puts your voice directed away from the mics, so whilst they are designed to pick up from various angles, and they do exceptionally well at it, they are explicitly designed to pick up from directly below the phone, since that's where you're actually projecting your voice. The position is required when you are hearing from one end of the phone, and speaking at the other. Many early phones (see Mary Poppins) had the two features separated, so you'd talk *at* the microphone and hold a speaker against your ear.

              If there is no constraint on where the phone needs to be held for the purpose of hearing the conversation (and there isn't in my case, since the audio is being directly injected into my ear canals) then there is no reason to hold a phone in the traditional position - so any position which gets the mics close enough to my mouth, and preferably in the highest signal area - is going to get equally good results.

              To my memory I've only ever needed to do this once, and it also involved shielding the mic end of the phone from the ambient wind and noise.

              The public use of speakerphone, however, should be strongly discouraged.

              1. nobody who matters

                Re: Death?

                The most efficient orientation to use for a microphone to give the best quality reception of speech (and therefore the best quality audio for the person listening to the speaker at the other end) is to speak <across> the mic, not directly into it (as anyone who was used to CB radio in the 80's and 90's will already know :) )

                1. John Robson Silver badge

                  Re: Death?

                  Well that depends on the mic.

                  There is no "this is always best" when you're talking about quite such disparate technologies.

                  You'll note for example that microphones on orator platforms are never pointed at the ceiling so that heads of state talk "across" them.

    8. Geoffrey W

      RE: "Under the bloody code over 220 crimes were punishable by the death penalty, it is time to bring it back. Punch somebody in a bar? Death. Set a 5G tower on fire? Death. Etc."

      Make stupid and violent comments? Death! Goodbye!

  5. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Trollface

    So, the UK is a pre-apocalyptic wasteland, then ?

    Roving bands of hooligans are trashing the infrastructure in preparation of the apocalypse ?

    Is it safe to walk the streets in the daytime ?

    Do I risk getting burned when walking by a manhole that suddenly belches flames ?

    So many questions . . .

  6. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    "simply vandalism"?

    What's the root cause of this vandalism?

    - 5G is part of the 'great reset'

    - Stop AI before it stops us

    - Vermin Media pissed me off last Saturday by going down when the footie was on, so I'll set fire to anything I see

    - These people are about to put poles up, probably. Best destroy their kit.

    - This country is in a terrible state, I'm going to protest by making it worse

    - I'm bored, let's cut some fibre

    ALL of these things can be fomented by foreign state actors inserting AI bots into social media and spreading hatred and dissent. They don't need to hack into our systems (but they do anyway) when they can get the great unwashed to do their dirty work for them. It's misinformation that can do the greatest harm.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: "simply vandalism"?

      From "morons be morons" to foreign state actors in one fell swoop.

      Paranoia already seems pretty endemic in this comments section.

      > It's misinformation that can do the greatest harm

      Best to stop reading these comments then.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "simply vandalism"?

        Best to stop reading these comments then.

        And miss out on all the fun ones? Hell no :)

      2. ChoHag Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: "simply vandalism"?

        Obviously it's foreigners. It's a bad thing so it can't be us doing it. Gotta be them.

      3. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: "simply vandalism"?

        You don't think Putinbots and Jinpingbots are working hard to undermine western democracy?

        Think again.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "simply vandalism"? - Disinformation is a real issue & we're not really handling it well

        Fascinated by this Interview with James Rubin, US diplomat & currently trying to fight the disinformation campaign that is going on:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pZ-AkvQ0Y0

        Key points at c. 37 mins in for TLDR fans

        But the synopsis is this:

        Sponsor some puppet media outlet to interview or release an article with some b**cks disinformation

        big deal, v. few read / watch it, BUT

        Then get your Twit and FB and Insta 'bot army to propagate that clip out far and wide

        and let the useful idiots do the rest.

        No wonder the anti-5G activists think MS is trying to brainwash them

        It's a chilling view of the power of directly-target social media that flies beneath the mainstream radars

        Paraniod?

        Not quote yet,

        but I get the sense that we're barely holding out against the flood

      5. VicMortimer Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: "simply vandalism"?

        Dunno if you noticed, but there's a little bit of a war going on right now.

        One of the combatants is being supplied with weapons from a group of countries. The other one has historically been hostile to that group of countries. It's also historically had an extensive foreign intelligence operation that has at times been quite effective.

        At the same time, you've got a group of morons who think 5G is going to kill them.

        For a hostile country to NOT take advantage of that, they'd have to be utter fools. Now, you might have a good point by saying that they ARE utter fools, given the body count of their troops in that little bit of a war. But that doesn't necessarily mean their foreign intelligence operations are as ineffective as their military.

        So yes. Morons be morons to foreign state actors is exactly what the thought process of anybody with two brain cells should be. I'm not saying that's necessarily what it is in these cases, but it's absolutely worth looking into.

    2. Trigun

      Re: "simply vandalism"?

      I vote for "- Vermin Media pissed me off last Saturday by going down when the footie was on, so I'll set fire to anything I see", but with a twist:

      "- Vermin Media pissed me off last Saturday by PUTTING MY BILL UP BY 8.8%, so I'll set fire to anything I see"

  7. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Root cause

    This has been going on for years already. I know of a major incident of this kind from the early 2000s -- it just seems to be accelerating. The underlying problem is the accessibility of the ducts (and indeed ancillary equipment). We haven't ever designed the infrastructure for physical resilience, and continue not to do so as it's 'upgraded'. This has to change as electronic comms is critical national infrastructure.

    1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

      Re: Root cause

      It's a bit hard when there are telephone poles and cabinets everywhere. What next? deliberately blocking drains to prevent "big sewage" from polluting the sea (because we joined a protest group on Facebook)? Or sabotaging the water delivery infrastructure?

      1. Xalran
        Alert

        Re: Root cause

        They area already setting high voltage infrastructure on fire in Germany, so the rest of Europe is probably not far from sabotaging water and blocking drains.

        1. Tom Paine

          Re: Root cause

          Who are? Got a link?

          1. David 132 Silver badge

            Re: Root cause

            Here. Sorry for the slightly dodgy source.

            1. Trigun

              Re: Root cause

              "or which the left-wing *eco extremist Volcano Group* has claimed responsibility"

              Sounds like a group out of a Bond film

      2. Barrie Shepherd

        Re: Root cause

        "Or sabotaging the water delivery infrastructure?"

        The Water Companies seem to be managing that quite well on their own so no help needed.

    2. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

      Re: Root cause

      "The underlying problem is the accessibility of the ducts"

      The underlying problem is the ability for morons to get away with pretty well anything, since the Police seem to be overwhelmed.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Root cause

        I'd say the root cause is the seemingly exponential increase in morons.

        If I see what some of these people believe it is lucky that breathing is a mostly an autonomous body function because they would forget it. Which would, of course, partly solve the problem, but I digress.

    3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Root cause

      "the accessibility of the ducts (and indeed ancillary equipment)."

      I've reported open street cabs to the relevant owners, both OpenReach and VM, and neither bothered to secure them for months. If they won't react to information provided, why should Government be expected to help secure the kit for them?

    4. Terry 6 Silver badge

      Re: Root cause

      Since the roadside comms boxes are about as secure as a packet of cheese in a mouse hole there's no arguing with that.

  8. Adam Trickett
    Alert

    Easy here

    Where I live the fibre is all dangling from poles, and comes down to eye level where the junction boxes are. So as I walk the dog I've often thought all it would take is a pair of garden secateurs, or a decent pair of scissors to cause chaos locally. I didn't realise that people were actually doing it!

    Seeing as I'm stuck with piss-poor ADSL as the fibre is stubbornly stuck 150 metres away at the bottom of the lane, fibre vandalisms wouldn't impact me much at the moment!

    1. BenDwire Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Easy here

      I'm also stuck with ADSL, yet I can see the telephone exchange from my window. There's no cabinet between us either, so no FTTC. It's a good job that I'm moving soon ...

      1. WonkoTheSane
        Headmaster

        Re: Easy here

        I too had an "exchange-only" phone line, a few years ago.

        Where I am (Wales), FTTC was implemented by simply cutting the cables at the end of the exchange car park and installing the cabinets there.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Easy here

      That's the trouble with the tech advancing: you can't get a decent fibre connection just by going out at night and attaching a few crocodile clips on those dangling wires.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Easy here

      I'm writing this in a flat in Edinburgh, outside which is a God-awful bundle of cables supplying the flats upstairs. I am sorely tempted to cut it all away in the hope that the company might do a neater job next time and not leave dozens of spare metres of the stuff dangling.

  9. OhForF' Silver badge

    Getting the police to patrol network cables isn't going to work, they have limited manpower and have to prioritize events with more immediate safety concerns.

    Asking for higher fines for those caught shouldn't be necessary as network providers should be able to sue them for damages which should be more than enough of a deterrent. Of course that kind of deterrent only works for those that actually think they will be caught, i.e. are as ineffective as higher fines.

    If this is happening often enough network providers will have to invest in security infrastructure and personal and can't just rely on the government to do it for them.

    1. ICL1900-G3

      Even more limited since our moronic 'leaders' have cut police headcounts quite drastically.

      1. Tom Paine

        It's bit more complicated than that

        https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/police-workforce-england-and-wales-31-march-2021/police-workforce-england-and-wales-31-march-2021

        (this chart only runs to 2022 but IIRC the trend has continued.)

    2. Barrie Shepherd

      You can't get blood out of a stone so fines don't work they don't pay them or do so at £1 a month off their UC payment.

      As for operators suing for damage again the crims have nothing (which is a part of the problem) so there is nothing to take to pay for damage.

  10. steviebuk Silver badge

    Yet

    When BT do FTTP to buildings, as they have at our work, they never full cover the cable going into the property, which I've pointed out many a time, someone can just come along and cut.

    Openreach saving pennies so they don't have to put armour shielding around the cables.

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: Yet

      When BT do FTTP to buildings, as they have at our work, they never full cover the cable going into the property, which I've pointed out many a time, someone can just come along and cut.

      Pretty sure they should, ie OP (Outside Plant) crews are supposed to bury cable and duct into the building. But there may be times when that's not easy due to the building design. I'd expect it to have some duct protecting the cable entry into the building though. Maybe take some pictures, send them to BT and tell them it's not accceptable. BT may not be aware and often use subcontractors to do these jobs, and those subs will be expected to follow BT's OP rules. I wouldn't accept exposed cables and would reject the installation as incomplete/unsatisfactory though.

      Openreach saving pennies so they don't have to put armour shielding around the cables.

      Often no real point given if someone is determined to sabotage your install, they're going to bring power tools.

      1. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Yet

        There's a big difference between "going equipped" and a mouse having a nibble.

        A lot of these installations aren't protected against the local wildlife.

        Or against a light rain and gentle breeze, in some cases.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Yet

          There's a big difference between "going equipped" and a mouse having a nibble.

          A lot of these installations aren't protected against the local wildlife.

          Again, there should be. But I also guess it depends on the service ordered, ie if it's a retail-style plain'ol broadband service, or a proper business one. But this used to be my day job stuff. There should be method statements & a scope of works agreed for 'new build' and building entries. That should be signed off by the customer, or customer's agent (ie sometime me). Even on retail-style jobs, there should be discussion between OP team and customer rep to deal with basic stuff like 'Is it ok if we poke a hole in your building here?'.

          And then if you think the work is incomplete, or out of spec, reject the installation and ask them to remedy it. Again this is the customer's responsibility, ie facilities or IT/Comms manager. There can also be insurance and building regs issues. So entries should have things like gas & liquid ingress seals, fire stops and anti-rodent and bug stops. I realise a lot of IT folks aren't always aware of those boring little details, but sometimes it pays to become aware, especially if you might end up getting blamed.

        2. Adam Trickett
          Alert

          Re: Yet

          There is fibre hanging from a pair of poles nearby that is now sagging so low that in a low breeze it swings and nearly rubs on the top of road sign... I think it slips more over time, it's a lot lower than at first, so I expect in a strong wind it will sag lower and then start to rub on the top of the road sign, if it doesn't snag completely!

          Orange subcontracted the work to the lowest cost bidder and the result is pretty sloppy...!

  11. steamnut

    simple.

    Any interference or destruction of national infrastructure should be a criminal offence with a mandatory prison sentence.

    1. Reaps

      Re: simple.

      but that would mean a lot of ministers and mp's go to jail,

      then again, that might be a good thing

      1. short a sandwich

        Re: simple.

        I'm not seeing any downside there!

    2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: simple.

      I don't know how you are defining "national infrastructure", but I'm fairly sure that setting fire to telecomms kit is "criminal damage" and already punishable on those grounds. All you have to do is catch the criminals.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: simple.

        He's probably referring to sentencing guidelines. By make a new, specific offence it allows for different sentencing. See, for example, assaut against and emergency worker compared to assault against "normal" people. On the other hand, a variation ion a law or sentencing guidance is probably easier and quicker than a whole new law. But a whole new law gets media attention and in some cases, change the threshold between a finable offence and an appearance in court

  12. gedw99

    Starlink

    Well I guess people might be more incentivised to use Star link ?

    It’s hotly popular in Australia and New Zealand due to poor fibre and expensive bills.

    1. WonkoTheSane

      Re: Starlink

      Speaking of expensive bills, Starlink in the UK runs around £450 for the dish & £75/month for the connection.

      1. Graham Dawson Silver badge

        Re: Starlink

        Comparable to virgin, then.

      2. Jason Hindle

        Re: Starlink

        “ Speaking of expensive bills, Starlink in the UK runs around £450 for the dish & £75/month for the connection.”

        Less than I pay per month for an abusive relationship with BT (and faster, and you can pick it up and throw it in the camper van if you own one).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Starlink

      You mean, it isn't foreign state actors; it is all just a marketing ploy by Elon!

  13. Francis King
    WTF?

    What security

    “We have one of the toughest telecoms security regimes in the world and we continue to work closely with relevant organisations to identify risks and ensure the security and resilience of our telecoms network infrastructure.”

    In their dreams.

    At the end of the driveway is a telecoms manhole cover. To access the duct, you just lift the cover. So what security are they referring to?

    1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

      Re: What security

      At the end of the driveway is a telecoms manhole cover. To access the duct, you just lift the cover. So what security are they referring to?

      Sometimes there are alarms that indicate the pit/chamber has been opened. Problem is then.. what happens next? Telco NOC gets an alarm, then has to either despatch a field engineer, or call the police. There are many, many manhole covers to secure, and there would be many false alarms. Plus if this is cable theft or sabotage, it usually happens pretty quickly. I once stumbled across a gang doing this walking home. Thieves had got the covers up, cut cables, hooked them up to their van and were driving off within a couple of minutes. Luckily police were there and stopped the van towing a few lengths of cable down the road. The longest part of that job is probably coiling up the stolen cable and chucking it in the van. But damage had already been done and it took a few hours to restore the services.

  14. Long John Silver
    Pirate

    A missed opportunity?

    What's the point of having an 'official narrative' about geopolitical affairs when opportunities to embellish it are ignored?

    We have been taught that China, Iran, N. Korea, and Russia are foci of evil, they collectively dedicated to smashing the benign 'world order' devised by Western European and North American powers. Particularly troubling to British folk is the imminent prospect of invasion by a Slavic horde intent upon rampaging through Britain in search of strong liquor and nuns of easy virtue.

    The brave nations of NATO have temporarily stemmed the tide of interlopers during the latter's Ukrainian incursion. The great statesmen of Europe and the USA are united in belief that Russian forces soon shall tramp through Poland on their way to Berlin, Paris, and London. Britain's best hope is to gather forces, the remnants after mass surrender and return home by French, and other armies, all disillusioned by the ineptness of their political leaders; these troops, will make the 'last stand'.

    The mighty minds of the UK Department of Defence, supplemented by renowned strategists at the Atlantic Council, deem it possible to bottle up Russian forces in the Paris Disney World and to await their voluntary dispersal back to Russia after sampling Anglo/American 'high culture' with its accompanying cuisine; anyone believing Grant Shapps, and his NATO equivalents, capable of devising this “cunning plan” for avoiding bloodshed must be inhabiting Cloud-Cuckoo Land: credit is due to the operator of the ministerial lift (aka elevator) in Whitehall.

    The 'opportunity' alluded to in the title is to lay blame upon Russian saboteurs for attacks on UK fibre networks. This should raise fear in the UK to fever pitch. What if the Eurovision Song Contest, and other highlights in Western culture (e.g. Premier League football) no longer can be broadcast to the nation for the enrichment of entertainment moguls? To cement national unity, it will become a criminal offence to listen to Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Prokofiev, et al., or to show awareness of Russian literature, of Russia's contributions to mathematics and science, or to offer recognition of Russia's vital rôle in defeating Nazi Germany.

    Повествование — это все.

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      IT Angle

      Re: A missed opportunity?

      The problem does not seem to be Russia's past contribution to the arts, sciences and the defeat of german facism

      The problem is Russia's (actually putin's) desire to rebuild the USSR by any means including gunfire and the deaths of 10 000's of people

      1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

        Re: A missed opportunity?

        The problem is Russia's (actually putin's) desire to rebuild the USSR by any means including gunfire and the deaths of 10 000's of people

        Says the West. Russia is simultaneously strategically defeated in Ukraine, and an iminent danger to Poland, Germany and the Baltic States. But either way, Russia is waaay behind the bodycount we've created in bringing the 'international rules based order'. Yugoslavia (remember that country), Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan etc etc. Our death toll runs into the millions. Two wrongs don't make a right, but Russia is well on it's way to defeating NATO, the EU and Ukraine. They've demonstrated we have had the wrong focus on arms investments and production and pushed Russia into creating a war industry that seems far more able to outproduce us, at the same time as our 'leaders' policies are busily de-industrialising the West.

        But Putin's a convenient scapegoat to detract attention from domestic problems created by the useless shower of shite we call 'leaders'. I very much doubt Russian saboteurs are behind infrastructure attacks, and we have our own domestic terrorists and criminals to blame for those. And if Russia did start sabotage operations, it would likely be a prelude to things getting toasty, in which case your service SLAs would no longer apply.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Jellied Eel and friends

          > Yugoslavia (remember that country), Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan

          - Yugoslavia (spoiling merry Serbian-led Muslim genocide party - in spite of Russia's UN obstruction),

          - Libya (Pan Am 103 Lockerbie, Gaddafi the great democrat slaughtering his own people),

          - Syria (yet another democrat supported by Russian nerve agents and half a million death so that Putin can maintain his puppet in power),

          - Iraq (yet another democracy, Kuwait invasion, prisons full, etc),

          - Afghanistan (another advanced country... you should like them, no "woke" to bother you there...)

          > Russia into creating a war industry that seems far more able to outproduce us

          Yeah, right. Even India don't buy their crap anymore.

          1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

            Re: Jellied Eel and friends

            - Yugoslavia (spoiling merry Serbian-led Muslim genocide party - in spite of Russia's UN obstruction),

            List boy returns! So genocide parties are fine. Ukraine killed 14,000 peaceful protestors during it's civil war from 2014 to the start of the SMO, and was poised to 'de-Russify' Donbas and Crimea before Russia intervened to protect it's ethnic population. 30,000+ arabs have been killed so far during Israel's ethic cleansing of Palestine, with pretty much only the US providing UN obstruction.

            Libya (Pan Am 103 Lockerbie, Gaddafi the great democrat slaughtering his own people),

            Uhuh. Threatening to de-dollarise had absolutely no influence on that decision that's resulted in the slaughter of far more Libyans than Gadaffi ever managed. Also can you point me to the relevant international law that permits invasion and regime change for allegedly destroying an aircraft? See also Iran Air Flight 655.

            But Libya, Syria and Ukraine all had something in common. Peaceful protestors turn violent when mysterious figures start firing into crowds. More weapons appear and it's your classic coup in a can. In Ukraine, most of the protestors and police who were killed were shot from an elevated position, ie the mystery shooters on rooftops the Bbc and other media reported on. The official narrative is Ukraine police started firing first, and everyone was presumably naruto running at each other, which might go some way to explaining the trajectories of the wound channels.

            Iraq? Well, Kuwait may have justified GW1, but not 2. Wasn't that one because of the WMD that never existed?

            Afghanistan (another advanced country

            That was the generic 'war on terror' and the hunt for Bin Laden. Who wasn't in Afghanistan. 20yrs and a few trillion later, the US ran away and abandoned Afghanistan to the Taliban. Which will probably be the same fate that Ukraine will suffer.

            Yeah, right. Even India don't buy their crap anymore

            You.. don't think that might be political pressure? But the world's seen NATO vs Russia in action now, and can draw it's own conclusions. Want HIMARS? Sure, give Lockheed Martin $20m per launcher and $400k per missile. Deliveries can be expected some time after 2027 as there's a bit of an order backlog. Or perhaps Raytheon can tempt you with a $2.5bn air defence battery? Missiles are only $7m a shot, and perfect for shooting down say, swarms of 20x drones. Only $140m+ per attack, and you'll need more than 1 battery to launch that many missiles. But $5bn+ buys peace of mind, doesn't it? Oh and if those batteries happen to be the target, replacements can be delivered starting 2030. Backlogged again.

            Or why not buy plain'ol 155mm artillery? Orders for field guns and SPGs for delivery 2030 onwards. Ammunition not included as, well, backlogs again.

            But all rather off-topic. It isn't Russia sabotaging our infrastructure, yet. It's our own useful idiots. If our weapons manufactures and arms industries start suffering from industrial accidents, as is happening inside Russia, well, maybe that will be Russia. But they don't seem to have started doing that.. yet.

    2. Strong as Taishan Mountains

      Re: A missed opportunity?

      Putin was, (we assess) seen personally climbing out of a manhole with a length of cut fibre in one hand, and a kitten in the other.

      He can't keep getting away with this!

  15. MrHuggy

    Vandalism By Cable Companies: Poles in Hull

    How about acts of vandalism by the cable companies, Poles in Hull

    Here in Hull, UK due to our unique situation of having a local teleco Kingston Communications we are now having other cable coming in to build out their own networks. Sound's great but it isn't what is happening is that there's 4 companies putting there own cables down but instead of putting it underground they are string it up on telephone poles so now we have streets that can have up to 4 different set of poles.

    This is all because the government changed the rules meaning you do not have building permission to place telephone poles and they are paying the companies to roll out fibre even though our local company Kingston Communications has had fibre to the house for years. The new companies aren't selling connections because people have fibre already. The whole thing is a mess and the local councils can't stop them.

    1. Ian Johnston Silver badge

      Re: Vandalism By Cable Companies: Poles in Hull

      I have the greatest sympathy with people tempted to take direct action against these poles.

  16. RegGuy1 Silver badge

    Starlink

    I wonder what Musk and Starlink think of this?

  17. Tron Silver badge

    Anyone who thinks this is nefarious state actors....

    ...needs to take their tinfoil hat off, go have a little lie down and find their happy place.

    Whatever you want more policing/imprisonment for, shoplifting, ASB or cablecide, you ain't getting it. The old bill are short staffed and the prisons are so full they are letting people out earlier if they promise to be good.

    So, lockable, fireproof units perhaps?

  18. Arthur Daily

    Govt can do nothing!

    The Govt can do nothing. Nor can it stop drug use, crime or even the weather including floods. Damage is an insurance job and having a team to fix unexpected events. In Australia, they added locks and hidden have-to-know magnetic slide bolts onto some manhole covers and an alarm switch, and a camera. Repeat and rinse. Telco's also told big lies because they damaged their own cables. They used gorilla snot foam glue to make pits waterproof (the glue leaked strong acid) eroding copper. They removed nasty lead sheaths and used corn based plastic sheaths that the Rats took a liking to, and pvc instead of teflon covered. They privatized the cable people - so they do not take particular care and got paid many times for callbacks. Since 4G mobile alarms, burglars mostly do not do the cables anymore. Therefore nasty damage must be related to bad service and not listening to nut-jobs that may have an axe to grind. Usually on/near council estates. These penniless deplorable's don't even do jail time if court - and they have no money anyway.

  19. Charles Smith

    Taste own medicine

    The teleco's need to improve their security to deter, detect and identify the offenders. Once identified, those offenders should be sentenced to 12 months on a telecoms help desk.

    1. hoola Silver badge

      Re: Taste own medicine

      How?

      We already have more CCTV in the UK than pretty much any other Western country.

      Locks could be put on manholes but they have to be generic and robust.

      Any cover can ultimately be damaged sufficiently to pour petrol in.

      Cabinets can be wreaked by just parking your stolen vehicle on them (happened to our local cabinet).

      In all these situations the perpetrators are long gone and pretty much untraceable.

      Just like cable (and fibre thefts) from the rail network, anything like this is very difficult to actually secure to the point it cannot be damaged. Even if it were possible it is not affordable.

  20. Stig

    Copper thefts

    Slightly off tangent, but as we are presumably leaving all the copper cables in place, will these become a cash target - probably resulting in unintended damage to the optical networks.

  21. Terry 6 Silver badge

    Sarcasm

    I might be wrong, but some of these comments sounded like sarcasm. And others sounded like they didn't realise these were sarcasm.

    But to be fair, sometimes you just can't tell if it is, this being the internet.

  22. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    "We have one of the toughest telecoms security regimes in the world..."

    Yes, you must always emphasise how amazing you are first. Very important.

  23. SVD_NL Silver badge
    Facepalm

    I'm at a loss for words here

    "...some attacks have even been 5G protesters simply targeting any digital infrastructure."

    I think this summarizes the anti-5G movement perfectly. "I don't like EM radiation, so i will destroy the data transmission method that emits the least EM radiation"

    No way they are smart enough to specifically target 5G backbone infrastructure, they'd just set the mast on fire.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I'm at a loss for words here

      When you spot an anti-5G (or anti-WiFi - is that still in fashion?) make sure to get them all riled up about the terahertz plus radiation that has been injected[1] into their bodies.

      With any luck we can convince them of a GMO-free diet that will end in their no longer radiating in the far infrared.

      [1] actually, the jabs are often at lower frequencies, but point out they are intended to interact with the body to speed up the vibrations.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Hall of shame

        > With any luck we can convince them of a GMO-free diet that will end in their no longer radiating in the far infrared.

        Wow, El Reg has it all. Trumpards, brexiters, anti-vax, climate change deniers, Russian trolls, Huawei fans and now... Monsanto shills.

        1. Jellied Eel Silver badge

          Re: Hall of shame

          Wow, El Reg has it all. Trumpards, brexiters, anti-vax, climate change deniers, Russian trolls, Huawei fans and now... Monsanto shills.

          And of course far-left anonymongs who will blindly follow along with any conspiracy that they're spoon fed. Biden for President! Vroom, vroom! And you'll probably have no idea what that last bit refers to because of your choice of media.. Meanwhile, in other news-

          https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-68543919

          In Borovsk (where?), Steve Rosenberg (who?) looks at the Russia Putin wants you to see- and Russia in reality.

          aka the Russia the Bbc wants you to see, which is not the reality.. It's Russia through the eyes of a single street artist and a Bbc troll-

          Vladimir Ovchinnikov tells me he never watches television.

          Poor chap. He's going to miss Eurovision. Or smart chap, he won't be watching the Bbc.

          But, just like with paintings, context is important.

          And the context here is crucial.

          The Kremlin not only controls television in Russia, it manages the entire political system, elections included.

          Oh noes. Next he'll be telling us that the government controls television in the UK, and will fine anyone up to £1,000+ for not involuntarily subscribing to the carp Rosenberg and the Bbc spew out. The Bbc will run articles whining about 'foreign election interference', yet use it's billions to run hit pieces against Trump, anti-vaxers, climate change deniers, Putin etc etc. And morons like you will swallow it all.

      2. SVD_NL Silver badge

        Re: I'm at a loss for words here

        I've actually had an unsuspecting employee of a, let's say, "nature based" establishment run off when i went to install some WiFi Access Points.

        She grabbed tinfoil out of her purse, whipped up an improvised hat, and ran off.

        I wish i was joking.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It wouldn't surprise me if some of the damage in London is the "Blade Runners" thinking they are taking out ULEZ cameras by doing it...

  25. clintos
    Pint

    Surprised are we...

    This has been steaming for a long time now. I'll just sit with beer in hand watching the government idiots try and sort this steaming pile of moo sh1t mess out, that they have created.

  26. AbeSapian

    A Different Deterrent

    Have they considered explosive manhole covers?

  27. Johnb89

    Better parenting, not thicker steel

    Here in the UK our reaction to vandalism is to secure and strengthen and toughen and harden... school playgrounds surrounded by 3m tall spike fences made of 5mm steel, telecoms street furniture made of thick steel, big heavy bike locks, etc

    That is not the answer. The answer is to teach the (mostly young, male) people who destroy things for fun, or think its ok to steal things, that its not ok to do that. This is a generational project.

    Many countries have things exposed and don't have these problems, because parents teach their children right and wrong, and how to behave. Too many parents in the UK don't do that.

    1. Trigun
      Joke

      Re: Better parenting, not thicker steel

      "mostly young, male"

      *ahem* That's not very inclusive of you. Surely we should be giving 50% equity of accusations of damage to comms infrastructure to women. It's only fair!

  28. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    On this topic, anybody have any idea what shut down the entire Virgin media service - internet, TV, phone - for 16+ hours in Sheffield last week? It's the sort of huge outage that suggests burning down an exchange or similar.

    1. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge
      Devil

      If its like the vermin media outage here a few years ago, some wanker letting a 16 yr old drive a JCB on a building project and letting him dig where the signs/warning/detailed instructions all said "DO NOT DIG HERE!"

      If only we could run 30 000 volts through the cable armor.......

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