The industrial-scale theft of copper telecommunications cables is a massive problem: in the UK alone, cable worth 770 million was stolen from overhead and buried telephone lines and railway signalling systems last year. Cable theft doesn't only cause extended internet, phone, cable TV and cash machine outages it also shuts down railway networks for hours and, sometimes, days. Called the Rapid Assessment BT Incident Tracker RABIT the chunk of code monitors all 120 million kilometres of cable on BT's phone network. RABIT is a real-time system based on a neural network that has been trained to sense the difference between a telecoms cable being severed and a cable that has gradually failed perhaps due to corrosion, falling trees, water seeping in, or perhaps incursion by farming machinery.
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