BT has deployed an alarm across its entire copper network in attempt to reduce the rising rate of cable theft.
The technology, entitled Rapid Assessment BT Incident Tracker (RABIT), has been developed by BT and allows it to constantly monitor signals across the network, which when disrupted indicate foul play, and an alert is sent out to BT's Security Control Centre and police response teams in real time.
A trial was carried out in December 2011 in Essex, which resulted in response teams successfully scaring away empty-handed copper thieves.
"BT's new burglar alarm on the network will make thieves think again. We are now able to inform the police of the exact location of malicious network attacks and, if trials are anything to go by, it won't be long before they start catching the thieves in the act," said Luke Beeson, general manage at BT Security.
Copper theft is a huge problem for BT, where the number of arrests is continuing to rise, with the average number of arrests per month up nearly eight percent on last year.
The crimes cost BT millions of pounds each year and it is believed that 80 percent of the cable stolen is carried out by organised crime gangs.
"In my view this technology will significantly improve police response times to cable theft incidents and will act as a major deterrent to criminals engaged in this activity," said Paul Crowther, metal theft lead for the Association of Chief Police Officers.
"More importantly, communities and businesses should see a sharp reduction in the disruption caused by this type of theft."