Dynamic operation for a major incident in Cham!

Cable fire caused immense damage.

In the night of Saturday 26 to Sunday 27 June 2021, a fault report of the highest priority was received by Swisscom: Cable fire in Cham, Canton of Zug. Numerous cables were completely destroyed. Several hundred Swisscom customers and other Telekom providers were without landline, internet and TV connection. cablex instantly mobilised all available teams and was on the spot immediately to give their best.

Author Martina Strazzer

After the fault report was received by cablex, the on-call service and all available cablex colleagues from the area Undergroundline (UGL) were mobilised immediately and met up in Cham. Even though the investigation into the cause of the fire is still ongoing, the extent of the damages was very quickly apparent. 32 fibre-glass and 17 copper cables under the Bärenbrücke Bridge in Cham were destroyed by fire.

Dynamic operation for a major incident in Cham!

A very big thank you to all those who successfully tackled this major incident. It is wonderful to see how willing people are to step up for each other and to strive together for a cause with so much dedication.

Commitment with dedication.

After a short briefing, the required cable reels and personal support could be organised immediately. A call via the internal cablex communications platform “Teams” on Sunday meant that within a very short space of time, splice teams and cable pulleys from the entire company were available.

From Sunday morning to Friday, 2 July 2021, around 16 people were deployed in three-shift operation around the clock to set up an initial temporary solution, enabling the population of Cham to reconnect online. From Sunday 4 July 2021 until the end of the repair work, it was possible to return to normal operation, in other words, one shift. The commitment of the cablex teams from all areas of the company was unparalleled.

Urs Tresch, Team Leader of Customer Field Services Central, as part of the management team of the large-scale operation only has positive things to say about the valiant efforts of all cablex colleagues:

“During this major incident, I really understood what dedication means. My colleagues’ commitment in this matter was phenomenal. The European Championship football game crucial for the Swiss team on Monday 28 June 2021, as well as all private commitments over the entire week were put on hold in order to step up for our customers. An unparalleled team spirit at cablex!”

Extensive repair work.

32 fibre-optic and 17 copper cables were disconnected in the fire. In the cable ducts, the burned cables were first separated and removed at the damaged sections. The new cables were then provisionally inserted into the cable ducts through the pavement. The complex splicing work then began. 3000 fibre-optic cables were spliced by Wednesday evening. As the cables had to each be prepared at both ends for subsequent new installation, altogether 6000 fibre-optic splicings were performed!

In order to bridge the supply via the severed copper lines, the mCANs were temporarily recommissioned with a mobile power supply (RPU). In parallel, repair work was begun on the copper cables, so that splicing via the mobile RPUs could subsequently be removed again.

The new fibre-optic cables (altogether 4000 metres) of various sizes were relaid partially in the cable duct and partially through the pavement, in order to restore all connections provisionally.

Back online.

Since Wednesday afternoon, 30 June 2021, more than half of the connections affected are usable again. Thanks to the efforts achieved by all those involved, the work was largely completed despite the immense extent of the damage. Not only private users but also the shop owners of the adjoining Neudorf Centre were affected by the major disruption. Here, only cash payment was possible while the repair work was going on. A real challenge in times of cashless payment transactions!

Provisional solution still in place.

Thanks to the complex repair work, the heavy damage in the ducts could be fixed again very quickly. However, the Cham community now still has to live with the temporary solution for a while. As soon as the police investigations regarding the cause of the fire have been concluded, the actual repair work on the pipeline system can be started.

The cablex team will then return to the site to take up all the cables again, re-cut them and lay them at the definitive location.

A very big thank you to all those who successfully tackled this major incident. It is wonderful to see how willing people are to step up for each other and to strive together for a cause with so much dedication.

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