Thieves target Stepney Green exchange

Thieves hit the British Telecom Stepney Green exchange on Monday morning and stole ‘high-end’ broadband equipment which caused an internet wipe-out for homes and businesses.

Engineers for communications company Entanet realised they were having issues with their broadband connectivity at 1am and after sending three engineers to the Commercial Road site, realised that there had been a break-in.

It took them until after 4pm to restore their broadband services from the exchange, with Tower Hamlets police investigating the scene until 3.30pm.

Darren Farnden, Entanet’s marketing manager, said engineers had to make fibre repairs because some of their kit had been ripped from racks.

He wasn’t willing to say the value or exact nature of the equipment taken.

He said: “We are talking about high-end equipment, not the typical type of internet routers which you would have at home.”

The company, which runs equipment at over 20 exchanges nationwide, said a small proportion of its customers were affected by the theft with the time of day lessening the impact.

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The exchange was previously targeted by thieves in 2008.

No arrests have been made and the police are investigating.