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17/04/2020  /  Carolin Primerova
news

Major incident in Bulle successfully resolved.

On 8 April, cablex received a very high priority incident notification: The drilling machine of a construction company cut several optical fibre and copper cables during the course of its work. As a result of this, several thousand customers in Bulle, Rougemont, Charmey and Château-d'Œx had no access to the Internet, Swisscom TV, mobile telephony and fixed network telephony. cablex is proud of the untiring and committed work of everyone involved on site and says: "Chapeau et merci beaucoup!"

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All in all, the following installations were carried out:

10 optical fibre sleeves of Swisscom (instead of 36)
2 copper sleeves
2 optical fibre sleeve for UPC Cablecom


Richard Maillard was the person who responded immediately to the major incident notification on 8 April. He immediately sent the measurement technician, Sam Renou, to the site to determine the extent of the damage. Without waiting for the final result of the analysis, and without knowing the actual personnel requirements, cablex initiated extraordinary personnel planning in view of the upcoming Easter weekend.

The precise extent of the damage.

During the afternoon, the precise extent of the damage was determined:

  • 18 optical fibre cables with 12 to 432 fibres
  • 2 copper cables with 2400 pairs
  • 1 optical fibre cable of UPC Cablecom

In summary, it can be said that enormous damage was caused by this external influence.

The teams of cablex from French speaking Switzerland were under pressure due to the service interruption. To make matters worse, the hospital in Château-d'Œx and all emergency numbers in Vallée de la Jogne and Intyamon were also affected by the incident. Appropriate measures were initiated in these areas through increased police presence from the Vaud and Fribourg regions and a 24-hour presence in local authorities.

In order to work efficiently, Swisscom supported troubleshooting by specifying the order (according to priority 1a to 3b) in which lines were to be restored. Furthermore, on the same day, 8 April 2020, two teams of optical fibre specialists were available for preparatory work. At 8.40 a.m., the required equipment was ordered. The first three replacement cables were delivered before midnight and the last 18 arrived on site the next morning at 8.00 am.

The cable installation team laid the cables that very morning. At around 1.30 a.m., all emergency services, the Château-d'Œx hospital and mobile telephony were restored for all those affected by the incident.

The space in the shaft was limited.

The space in the shaft was limited, which meant it was not possible to install 19 optical fibre and two copper sleeves in the same shaft. For this reason (and taking into account the different network layers FTTS, FTTB, Intercentral), several cables were spliced in a single sleeve. It was therefore possible to reduce the number of sleeves.

It was also necessary to comply with the numerous protective measures in connection with Covid-19 during the repair work. The length of the cable made it possible for several splicing teams to carry out the splicing work at the same time while maintaining the safety distance. 

Number of sleeves per shaft:

  • 5 optical fibre sleeves for Swisscom (instead of 18)
  • 1 copper sleeve
  • 1 optical fibre sleeve of UPC Cablecom

5 optical fibre sleeves for Swisscom 

All in all, the following installations were carried out:

  • 10 optical fibre sleeves of Swisscom (instead of 36)
  • 2 copper sleeves
  • 2 optical fibre sleeve for UPC Cablecom

Another challenge for Richard Maillard was to coordinate 20 employees and 20 vehicles in addition to the ten specialists already present (due to the hygiene measures prescribed by the FOPH, all cablex employees drove individually to the incident site). The ten teams took turns working until Saturday morning, 11 April, 7.00 a.m., when all of the services were fully restored.

The cablex teams on site delivered an impressive performance.

The cablex teams on site delivered an impressive performance and completed the following work activities within 70 hours after receiving notification of the major incident: 

  • Installation of 19 x 110 metres of optical fibre cable + 2 x 70 metres of copper cable
  • Preparation of 4 cable heads, 2,400 x 2 + 2 of 600 x 2 + 2 of 200 x 2
  • 2 x 500 copper connections
  • Preparation of 76 optical fibre cable heads
  • 19 connected optical fibre cables for a total of 4460 splices
  • 2 x 6 enclosed optical fibre splices
  • Restoration of services for 9,000 customers

None of this work would have been possible without:

  • the outstanding motivation and good mood of all of our employees
  • the willingness of employees from all regions of Switzerland to make themselves available
  • the support of all our colleagues in other departments
  • the support of all our partners
  • the support of our management, Daniel Binzegger, Gilbert Granelli and Laurent Boeglin who visited the site, which was much appreciated by all
  • the support of our suppliers (Kablan, Mr. Mathys)
  • the support of the local police in Bulle
  • the support of the civil engineering company on site

 Many thanks to everyone. It was nice to see how, even under difficult conditions due to the Corona pandemic, work was carried out safely and the disruption was resolved quickly despite the extent of the damage and the Easter Holidays.

cablex AG | Tannackerstrasse 7 | 3073 Gümligen | Phone 0848 222 539 | cablex.info@cablex.ch