Following a subsea cable cut, Shetland loses access to phone and internet services
A key underwater cable link with the mainland was broken, leaving islanders on Shetland . Without access to landlines, mobile phones, or the internet until Saturday.
A UK-registered trawler dug up the wire on Thursday morning . Prompting police in Shetland to declare a major incident and begin patrolling the island to reassure locals.
Some services are being reroute using different networks, according to engineers.
Officials from the UK government claim that the trawler operating under UK registration accidentally damaged the cable, which caused the outage. The incident is currently under investigation by the authorities.
CEO of the Shetland Islands Council Maggie Sandison says that …
the emergency is likely to last until Saturday, even though some landlines . And internet services that use a link to the Faroe Islands are still working.
All of the council’s network and mobile communications at the airport were down . But aircraft from Sumburgh airport in the far south of Shetland’s main island were still flying on Thursday.
Insp. Ch. Jane Mackenzie of Police Scotland told listeners of BBC Radio Scotland to check on elderly or vulnerable neighbours whose help alarms might not be working and to avoid making unnecessary phone calls.
She claimed that certain landlines, mobile services, and 999 lines were still in use.
Therefore, she argued, “Anyone phoning 999 should be able to do so from a cell phone. If there is an emergency, please call 999 from a landline phone or a cell phone first.
If it doesn’t work, you should stop a non-blue-light emergency service vehicle and flag it down, or go to a police, hospital, fire, or ambulance station to report the emergency.
Police Scotland, according to Supt. David Ross,
has established an emergency centre at the Tesco parking lot in Lerwick and is deploying more officers to Shetland . He noted that engineers were scrambling to restore or redirect services.
A BT spokeswoman said that some phone, broadband, and mobile services are affect by a break in a third-party undersea cable that connects Shetland to the Scottish mainland.
We’ll keep you updated while engineers attempt to immediately reroute services via alternative channels. Additionally, our third-party subsea service provider is attempting to quickly reinstate their connection.
Even if their personal cellphone carrier doesn’t have a signal, anyone who has to dial 999 should first try their landline or mobile. We apologise for the inconvenience.
The issue, according to Shetland’s MSP Beatrice Wishart, has renewed concerns about the islands’ susceptibility. “The news has naturally alarmed my constituents. She said the telephone and broadband services are incredibly limited, which has a significant impact on families and companies throughout the islands.
The underlying vulnerability of our current island infrastructure is shown by this type of interruption. Long-term adjustments are required to build a resilient service that can ensure inhabitants’ connectivity, dependability, and safety.
The incident comes after last week’s damage to another underwater cable that connects Shetland and the Faroe Islands; that line is scheduled to be repaired on Saturday.
According to Páll Vesturb, director of infrastructure at Faroese Telecom, a trawler is most likely to blame for the damage.
He continued, “It is highly unusual for us to have two incidents at once, but we anticipate that fishing vessels will be responsible for the wire break.”
A 20-mile-long underwater power line from the Western Isles to the mainland was severed in 2020 . Cutting power to around 18,000 households there. Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks, an electricity provider, had to get power from a diesel-powered power plant in Stornoway and backup generators.