Gunshot damage disrupts goBEC service

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Main line in Exeter damaged, causing outage

In the late hours of July 5 or the early hours of July 6, gunshot damage to goBEC’s main line in Exeter caused an outage for a number of customers.

According to Mark Aeilts, CEO of Barry Electric and goBEC, a gunshot, most likely at birds, damaged a fiberglass internet and phone service line southwest of Exeter.

“Initially, two customers reported not having service,” Aeilts said. “Yet, up to 81 customers had a service interruption whether they discovered it or not.”

Customers experienced interruptions for services including internet and phone services, as well as the ability to stream TV and other uses of high speed internet service.

“All service was restored by July 7 at 2 a.m.,” he said. “Permanent repairs have been made, so as long as hunters and others avoid shooting at electric and fiber lines, then there should be no further service affecting issues at this time.”

According to Aeilts, the replacement required 192 fiber splices.

“The gunshot damaged the fiberglass internet cable; therefore, a 2,000-foot-section of 96 count fiber cable had to be replaced which required 192 fiber splices,” he said. “The repair costs include troubleshooting and light meter testing by four internal employees, emergency dispatch of six contract employees and their equipment for the splicing and the 2,000 foot line section of 96 count fiber cable. A coordination of these 10 employees worked directly for 14 hours to accomplish these tasks, mostly while on overtime. The estimated repair cost total is $17,000. There are other fiber cables on our system which are much larger and would take longer and cost even more to repair.”

At this time, the incident has been reported to the authorities.

“There are only rumors of who may have shot at the electric and fiber wires,” he said. “We have operators on standby 24 hours a day and also keep the public informed on the goBEC or Barry Electric Facebook pages.”

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