5G mast replaced after arson attack destruction
- Credit: O2
A 5G mobile phone mast has been restored after it was destroyed in an arson attack - believed to be by conspiracy theorists.
O2 was forced to send engineers to Brightlingsea on March 10 after a 5G mast was set on fire, leaving customers and businesses without network coverage.
The mobile network provider said it believed around 500 customers had been affected by the incident, including those at the Orchards Holiday Village.
As well as damaging the mast, the fire also hit other parts of the site - including the feeder run and part of the building it was located beside.
O2 said that once the fire investigation had concluded, engineers were able to review the damage and replace it with a temporary solution.
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It plans to rebuild the permanent site at a later date.
Emma Evans, head of network experience at O2: “Sadly, a number of customers in Brightlingsea may have experienced weakened connectivity following an attack that took place on a mast in the area.
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"This mast connected local residents and businesses to our 3G, 4G and 5G networks, which work together to keep the country connected, support the economy, help vulnerable people reach loved ones and allow essential services and providers to respond to those in need.
"Thanks to the work of O2 engineers, a temporary site has been set up that will restore the award-winning service that our customers rely on.
“These attacks on important network infrastructure represent criminal damage and put the community at risk."
She said O2 is "working with police to find the perpetrators" but added: "The conspiracy theories are not based on any recognised science or logic.
"They harm the ability of vulnerable people to keep in touch with loved ones and prevent emergency services from effectively responding to those in need.”