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Northampton fire burns broadband for 16 exchanges

A fire in Northampton has severely damaged the Blisworth Telephone Exchange, affecting broadband services in 16 regions. 

The blaze, which begun on Friday in the nearby JBJ Business Park, has resulted in no injuries or fatalities but several broadband customers have lost services.

The fire has mainly hit O2 and Be Broadband customers, with reports of customers as far away as Birmingham being affected by the outage. 

Northampton fire burns broadband for 16 exchanges
While several customers have been inconvenienced by the Northampton fire, no one was hurt

According to ISP Review, BT has been denied access to the site due to health and safety reasons. The local fire brigade won’t allow anyone into the site until it’s safe to enter. While the fire has been out for several days, checks for hazardous materials including asbestos need to be carried out before anyone can get into the site and begin making repairs. 

BT is said to be setting up a workaround by re-routing circuits, but there’s only so much that can be done until access to the exchange is granted. 

As Be Broadband reports, users in Birmingham with a static IP address can resolve things by switching to a dynamic IP,  although by doing this you’ll need to factory reset your router and you’ll lose your original IP address, which you may not want to do. 

The list of affected areas is:

  • Smoa (Oakley)
  • Emwesto (Weston Favell)
  • Emwelli (Wellingborough)
  • Emtowce (Towcester)
  • Emrushd (Rushden)
  • Emrannd (Raunds)
  • Emnorth (Northampton)
  • Emmoult (Moulton)
  • Emktter (Kettering)
  • Emkings (Kingsthorpe)
  • Emharro (Harrowden)
  • Emhardi (Hardingstone)
  • Emdusto (Duston)
  • Emdaven (Daventry)
  • Emcrrby (Corby)
  • Emchape (Chapel Brampton)

Normally BT issue an MBORC (Measures Beyond Our Reasonable Control) notice during a situation like this but we’ve heard nothing so far.  We’ve contacted BT for the latest on this and will update once we know more. 

Image: G Milner/Flickr

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