Sky internet blackout: Vauxhall workmen blamed for broadband outage that hit tens of thousands of customers

 
Oliver Gill
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Some of Sky's customers could neither access internet nor phone services (Source: Getty)

More than 50,000 Sky broadband customers in London suffered a service blackout after bungling south London workmen severed underground fibre cables and a response team took several hours to get to the scene of the incident.

The network shutdown started at 4.30pm yesterday evening, with an inspection team taking three hours to get to the scene. Problems were rectified by 1am this morning.

A spokesperson for Sky said:

Ongoing roadworks taking place between Vauxhall and Bermondsey resulted in a physical break to fibres, causing broadband and phone outages for some customers.

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The delay in sorting the problems out was in part due to Sky workers being unable undertake the remedial action.

The Sky spokesperson added: "Unfortunately the initial incident was out with our control, but support teams worked closely with council teams to repair the broken fibres and get services back up and running by the early hours.

"We apologise to customers for any inconvenience caused."

Central and South London homes were worst hit, with some City firms experiencing problems with their websites.

Sky said 51,000 broadband customers were affected, with 47,000 phone lines down.

Areas hit included the customers in the Square Mile and the West End as well as Balham, Battersea, Brixton, Clapham, Wandsworth, Tulse Hill, Tooting and Streatham.

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Sky doesn't own most of the UK's fibre infrastructure with a subsidiary of rival BT, Openreach, in charge of much of the cable that Britain is dependent upon.

The blackout came on the eve of a fierce battle between Sky and BT to secure the television rights to European Champions League football for the next three years.

The firm kept customers up to speed with engineers' progress with Sky's Twitter account working in overdrive to ensure Londoners were appraised of progress – but this was only able to be accessed by customers via their mobile phones.

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