Cut Cables Cause Major Phone, Internet Outage in Silicon Valley

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.

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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 J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...