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During work on the trackbed at Lyss railway station, a construction company damaged a cable conduit. Sheet piling which was mechanically rammed into the ground cut through multiple copper and fibreglass cables. There was considerable damage, which meant that 2,200 Swisscom customers had to do without Internet, television, mobile communication and telephones.
While creating a retaining wall for an excavation in the trackbed of Lyss railway station, the construction company smashed a concrete cable conduit.
On Thursday, 14 May at 11.38 a.m., the system at Operations & Monitoring Centre of Swisscom (OMC) suddenly signalled the outage of 55 mCANs. OMC immediately booked the highest priority ticket: 1A. The construction company also reported the damage immediately. But what happened?
14 May 11.38 a.m.
While creating a retaining wall for an excavation in the trackbed of Lyss railway station, the construction company smashed a concrete cable conduit. Propping involves mechanically ramming large steel sheet piling (Larssens) into the ground to support the sides of an excavation. While inserting one of the Larssens, the ram’s system reported greater resistance than with other sheets. Mechanical damage to a conduit was assumed to be the cause.
The following cables were cut:
14 May 5.30 p.m. to 15 May 5.30 a.m.
Due to the severity of the damage, the cable laying teams from Central, Western and Eastern Switzerland came as quickly as possible. The first step was to cut apart the damaged conduit to lay bare and remove the damaged cables from the conduit block. The cable sections were removed on both sides between the shafts and the damaged area. New cables could only be laid after this was done.
15 May 6.30 a.m.
The next step involved cleaning and identifying the old cables. This meant that the copper wires had to be labelled. Each wire was given a number and a punched strip. This was done at both ends of the cable so that the right cables could be attached with one another later.
16. May 3.23 p.m.
Each hour, approximately 100 customer connections were cleared for use and the attached mCANs put back into operation. Over the course of the afternoon, a second prioritised 800-wire cable was spliced. Up to 6:00 p.m., 70 percent of customers were back online. Thus, probably by 6:00 p.m., 70 percent of the 2,200 disconnected customers will be back online.
16 May 7.40 p.m.
After three eventful days and nights, the cablex team was able to put the last of the 55 disconnected mCANs in Lyss back into operation in the evening at 7.40 p.m. All that was left to do was to adjust the cables and shrink the sleeves as well as to clean the shafts. At midnight, all of the shafts were closed and the camp in Lyss could be struck.
Thanks to the commitment of its employees, cablex has once again demonstrated how effectively the company can intervene to remedy a major fault. Swisscom was also grateful to the eight cablex teams from St. Gallen, Lausanne, Zurich, Vevey and Geneva, and of course from the entire Central Region, who came to Lyss and got the 2,200 end customers back online in just 72 hours with their round-the-clock deployment.
"The know-how and passion of our employees once again helped to eliminate the effects of this disruption on Swisscom's customers - all this was done in constant compliance with the hygienic conditions associated with Covid-19". (Gilbert Granelli, Head of Corporate Business)
After a large outage five years ago at Eigerplatz in Bern, the Central Region acquired a trailer. This is specially equipped for use to rectify large outages and includes all of the material necessary, for example, emergency power groups, lighting, barriers and tents. This saves valuable time as there is no need to pack. The teams are thus ready for action right away and shifts changes can take place more quickly.