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Parts of Vodafone UK's Network Go Dark After Thieves Steal Equipment

Hundreds of thousands of customers were affected; some still?

1 min read
Parts of Vodafone UK's Network Go Dark After Thieves Steal Equipment

Vodafone must be wondering who it ticked off. I have been documenting the troubles it has been having in Australia for the past couple of months. Now it seems it is Vodafone UK's turn in the barrel.

News reports like this one at the London Telegraph began reporting yesterday and again today that thieves had, using a van as a battering ram, broken into an unmanned Vodafone exchange in Basingstoke between 0100 and 0200 Monday morning, London Time. Once inside the thieves took specialized networking and IT equipment that shut down voice, text and mobile Internet services across a wide area of England.

The Telegraph story says:

"Vodafone customers living along the M4 corridor - from Oxford in the north to Salisbury in the south - were badly affected."

Vodafone UK, with 19 million customers, said last night that several hundred thousand customers were affected by the theft.

While most service seems to be back to normal this afternoon (voice calling returned at 1300 yesterday), the Telegraph reports that some customers seem to still have trouble regaining all of their services. 

Vodafone is saying that it is now reviewing its security measures at its other networking facilities with the police. No doubt the other major telecoms in the UK are doing likewise.

The Conversation (0)

Why the Internet Needs the InterPlanetary File System

Peer-to-peer file sharing would make the Internet far more efficient

12 min read
An illustration of a series
Carl De Torres

When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020, the world made an unprecedented shift to remote work. As a precaution, some Internet providers scaled back service levels temporarily, although that probably wasn’t necessary for countries in Asia, Europe, and North America, which were generally able to cope with the surge in demand caused by people teleworking (and binge-watching Netflix). That’s because most of their networks were overprovisioned, with more capacity than they usually need. But in countries without the same level of investment in network infrastructure, the picture was less rosy: Internet service providers (ISPs) in South Africa and Venezuela, for instance, reported significant strain.

But is overprovisioning the only way to ensure resilience? We don’t think so. To understand the alternative approach we’re championing, though, you first need to recall how the Internet works.

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