Broadband providers can sign up for early warnings when thieves attack their connections inside BT’s network.
The Rapid Assessment BT Incident Tracker has been on trial with ISPs including TalkTalk and Plusnet since 2012, and has helped to catch thieves red-handed.
RABIT alerts BT Openreach, which is responsible for connections from BT’s exchanges to customers, who can then call out both engineers and the police to incidents.
Read more about broadband copper cable theft on RecombuOpenreach said: “Openreach has developed a tool which monitors the access network using broadband data to identify cable breaks resulting from either theft or third party damage.
“For these incidents Openreach is able to proactively advise communications providers (CPs) by sending emails containing the postcodes of the affected end users.
“Following a successful trial of the process, Openreach will now be working with CPs, through the Service Management Forum, to fully develop the advice notes and associated information.”
The announcement comes a week after an attempted cable theft cut off broadband for almost 37,000 Sky subscribers in west London. The bumbling criminals found no copper to steal when they cut into fibre optic cables.
It’s also useful for incidents when builders and other utility workers accidentally cut through BT cables.