Cable Thieves Strike TELUS Network in Surrey: 1,000 Customers Affected

by Gaurav Kheterpal on June 7, 2010

Nearly 1,000 TELUS customers in Surrey were the latest victim of cable theft in the early hours of Friday morning. The incident occurred near 144th Street and Fraser Highway in Surrey where thieves ripped cables off five poles and fled away. As a result, these customers had no access to phone, internet or telephone for nearly 24 hours. The services were restored around 2 A.M on Saturday morning by TELUS.

Incidents of cable theft have increased manifold in recent years as a result of rising copper prices. Poles and cables are publicly situated assets therefore they have a high risk of vandalism and theft. Though TELUS has installed numerous electronic barriers and monitoring systems to protect such assets at certain locations, it is extremely difficult to implement a nationwide procedure for the same. TELUS described the event as “Significant cable theft” and its team of technicians worked over night to restore the services for affected customers. Telus spokesperson Shawn Hall said

“We’re doing things on multiple fronts to prevent cable thefts. We’ve increased security in our equipment storage yards to prevent theft there. We’ve been replacing copper cables with fibre-optic ones to increase Internet speed, but it has a side benefit of stemming cable thefts because there’s no scrap market for plastic and glass.”

The worst part of such incidents is that it leads to major public inconvenience. Should an emergency situation arise, the affected people do not even have access to 911 services. What’s more, there are serious hazards of damaged electrical lines. It sounds scary but unfortunately that’s the way it is. Thieves have even got away on numerous occasions by posing as TELUS workers. Lower Mainland has seen nearly 45 cable theft incidents since the beginning of this year. Cable thefts have been most common in the areas of Surrey, Langley, Abbotsford and Mission.

While TELUS has done well to restore services in less than 24 hours after the incident happened, it needs to do a lot more to ensure that such events are not repeated in future.

RCMP and Telus security are investigating the theft. Anyone with useful information should call the Surrey RCMP at 604 599-0502. If you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

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Written by: Gaurav Kheterpal. www.digitcom.ca >. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com > by: RSS>, Twitter >, Identi.ca >, or Friendfeed >

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