Cut Cables Cause Major Phone, Internet Outage in Silicon Valley

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2009-04-09 Print this article Print

Four cut fiber-optic cables located 10 feet down a manhole at a major intersection in south San Jose cause a widespread phone and Internet service outage in Silicon Valley and two adjacent counties. Police are investigating the case as deliberate vandalism. Thousands of AT&T and Verizon users will be without service until at least 6 p.m. Pacific Time.

AT&T telephone service and Internet access to a major portion of Silicon Valley was cut off April 9 when four underground fiber-optic cables were cut, disrupting service to southern Santa Clara County and parts of Santa Cruz and San Benito counties.

Because the cables are located 10 feet down a manhole at a major intersection in south San Jose, Monterey Highway at Blossom Hill Road, San Jose police are investigating the case as a felony vandalism crime.

The outage apparently happened at about 2 a.m. PDT April 9. The outages affect both AT&T and Verizon land lines and cellular phones, as well as Internet traffic. Sprint, T-Mobile and other telecommunications companies were not affected.

Calls to land lines of corporate offices of several IT companies, including IBM, Apple and Hewlett-Packard in nearby Cupertino, were met with a recorded phone company message: "Your call cannot be completed as entered. Please try the number again."

Other calls resulted in a fast busy signal or nothing at all.

AT&T crews are in the process of making repairs, but an AT&T spokesperson estimated that it will be at least 6 p.m. PDT before service is restored.

Local news radio station KCBS reported that in the meantime, authorities in the affected counties-including police and fire departments-are doubling patrols in the areas affected by the outage.

The radio station also reported that the city of San Francisco's Internet access has been disrupted, but 911 and 311 phone service was not affected.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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