Broadband users in the Eden Village area of Sittingbourne have been experiencing outages with their broadband over the past week.
It is believed that the main Open Reach infrastructure in the area is to blame. Cabinet 77, which is the one covering the roads affected, has been relying on batteries that should operate in short power outages, to allow broadband and now digital voice services to continue to operate.
Open Reach have confirmed to SFM News that a part, that controls all the power in the cabinet, has been ordered but "may take time to arrive". In the meantime engineers are having to regularly visit the cabinet to replace the batteries.
Unfortunately residents in Eden Village have learnt how long those batteries last and the time it takes to swap them out, resulting in outages lasting 30 to 45 minutes affecting customers of BT, TalkTalk and Sky - who all use the Open Reach infrastructure.
For those working from home, or running a business, gaps in service can cause all sorts of problems and the 'Think Broadband' website suggests that when broadband is critical it is worth having a back-up option, such as:
- Connecting your laptop to the mobile hot-spot on your mobile phone.
- Using a broadband router that has a built in 4G/5G SIM with automatic failover, or more commonly support a USB mobile dongle.
- You can installing a second broadband connection ahead of time, making sure it uses a different technology e.g. ADSL2+ instead of FTTC, or cable broadband instead of FTTC. This incurs an additional monthly cost, but if you're working from home routinely some firms will pay for a second connection, particularly as a dedicated connection can avoid contention caused by others in the home.
We will be updating you with the latest on this story as and when we have it.