BT’s measures to cut down on cable theft have proved so effective that BT Openreach is to let other ISPs use its RABIT technology for a three month trial period.
If the trials prove useful, then BT Openreach may provide use of the technology to ISPs indefinitely.
BT says that the diagnostic tool will notify ISPs of cable theft and will include post codes of the affected customers. As well as hopefully nabbing scrap metal thieves, ISPs ought to be able to more easily manage faults and help get customers back online.
This is a proof of concept trial meaning Openreach will keep it running “on a reasonable endeavours basis” and “reserves the right to withdraw [it] at any time.”
So in the distant future when there’s no more copper in the ground and only cable, thieves might stop smashing open street cabinets.
BT Openreach is running this trial from the 12th of July (a week today) until the 5th of October. Though the trial will only last for three months, ISPs can sign up at any time; there is no deadline for applications.
BT’s use of RABIT tech on its own lines has seen a spike in successful arrests of cable theives. BT has also employed the use of SmartWater, which indelibly marks the cable itself, making it easier to identify stolen metal.