Friday, April 10, 2009

AT&T Outage Blamed On Sabotage, $250k Reward Offered

AT&T has boosted the reward amount in response to yesterday's sabotage of fiber optic lines that caused a major disruption of phone service — including land lands, some cell service, Internet access and 911 emergency service.

Upon investigation of yesterday's outage that affected tens of thousands of users it was determined that saboteurs clipped several high-speed fiber-optic cables sometime Wednesday or early Thursday morning.

According to reports, as many as four AT&T fiber optic cables in San Jose were cut around 1:30 AM PDT on April 9; about two hours later, cables belonging to Sprint Nextel were cut in San Carlos California. Sabotage was immediately suspected as it appears as though manhole covers were lifted out and the cables specifically cut.

As of this afternoon AT&T has said service has been fully restored and the search for the culprits is on. The company continued to send out updates via Twitter, stating that "Repairs to vandalized San Jose cables were completed overnight. Services are operating normally this morning."

Just about an hour ago the company used their Twitter feed @ATTNews to spread the word that the bounty for the criminals had been raised from the initial offering of $100k to $250k. "AT&T has increased the reward for info leading to arrest/conviction of CA vandals to $250,000. Call 408-947-STOP."

"We have zero tolerance for any criminal who would attack our network and harm customers," AT&T spokesman John Britton said. "We're going to aggressively work with law enforcement to see those responsible are apprehended and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."

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