Network Card Theft Causes Internet Outage

UPDATED: The theft of network cards from a Verizon central office in New York has caused some customers there to lose their Internet access.

A handful of corporate customers were left without e-mail and Internet access Monday after the theft of networking equipment from a New York City office late Sunday.

Law enforcement officials said four DS-3 cards were reported missing from a Manhattan co-location facility owned by Verizon Communications Inc. The theft at 240 E. 38th St. occurred just after 10:30 p.m. on Sunday and is being investigated by New York City Police and members of the joint terrorism task force, according to NYPD spokesman Lt. Brian Burke.

The outage affected area customers of Sprint Corp., including Ziff Davis Media Inc., the publisher of

"We found backup cards in the area," said Charles Fleckenstein, spokesman for Sprint in Overland Park, Kan. "All of the cards are now on site in New York. [They] are being installed at this moment." Service was being restored to customers as the cards were being installed, he said.

Sprint officials said other ISPs were affected by the incident, but declined to identify them. Verizon spokesman Dan Diaz would not identify which providers were affected by the theft of the equipment. Diaz said no Verizon Internet customers were affected by the outage.

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Fleckenstein said that the outage was "not major," and not large enough to require a report to the Federal Communications Commission.

In addition, no notice of the outage was posted to Sprints Scheduled Maintenance and Outage page. Under FCC rules, phone carriers must report outages affecting more than 50,000 subscribers within two hours.

Editors Note: This story was updated with later information from Sprint.

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