BT gets RABIT on copper thieves' trail

Copper theft remains a major thorn in carriers' sides, so it's no surprise that BT (NYSE: BT) has developed a new tracking technology, RABIT (Rapid Assessment Bt Incident Tracker) that detects when and where a cable cut has occurred.

BT cable theft

Image source: BT

Converge Digest reports that BT tested the technology in December of last year. Once RABIT detects a possible cable cut or damage, the system alerts BT's Security Control Center as well as police response teams.

While details of the test results weren't made available, BT noted that the system forced copper thieves to flee from a scene in Essex, UK.

This certainly isn't the first technology BT or other carriers have implemented in the never-ending quest to stop copper theft--which in the UK alone costs taxpayers GBP700 million (USD1.12 million) per year according to the Metropolitan Police Service. In 2010, BT Openreach announced it was using a forensic ink called "Smart Water" on its cabling, tools and other equipment, which allows police to identify items stolen from the provider.

In December, BT and Scotland Yard announced the creation of a Waste and Metal Task Force which monitors scrap metal dealers selling copper wiring. In the last 11 months, BT and local police recovered 240 tons of stolen metal through visits to scrap dealers as well as via targeted operations.

For more:
- Converge Digest has this article
- see the BT release

Related articles:
BT, Scotland Yard create copper theft taskforce
West Va. Senate develops bill to curb copper theft
Police: Copper thieves posed as Charter employees
BT strikes back at copper theft

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