AT&T Northern Calif. network damage comes under FBI investigation

AT&T (NYSE: T) has restored service on its network in California after vandals cut through one of its fiber lines that shut down service for 22 hours, reflecting the latest in a string of targeted network attacks in the region.

The network outage left thousands of users in the Central Valley, Tuolumne and Calaveras counties, according to various reports.

As of this morning AT&T said service was restored in these areas.

"Service has been restored following last night's vandalism in the Stockton area," AT&T said in a statement obtained by "Technicians worked as quickly as possible to resolve the issue and all services are currently running normally. We continue to cooperate with local law enforcement to find those responsible. Vandalism is a serious matter that affects public safety and the community at large."

The service provider said that the cut occurred on 1,200 feet of a fiber run, which required 192 fiber pairs to be re-fused.

This is just one 10 incidents that AT&T said has taken place on its network over the past year. The cuts began last July in Berkeley, which left many customers in the region without wireless, wireline U-verse and 911 services until service could be restored.

AT&T is not the only service provider whose fiber networks have compromised by vandals. Over the past year, the FBI has been investigating several incidents where unidentified individuals have been breaking into underground environmental vaults and cutting fiber cables.

Earlier this month, Level 3 and Zayo's backbone networks in the San Francisco Bay area were shut down after vandals cut fiber lines.

At that time, FBI agents, who were investigating the incidents, could not provide details on how widespread the effect of the attack was on businesses and residential customers. They did confirm that the cuts disrupted Internet services near Sacramento.

Among those affected by the fiber cuts were Wave Broadband, a competitive provider which rents backbone services from Level 3 and Zayo. Due to the fiber cuts, Wave said its subscribers in Sacramento suffered outages.

 For more:
- Ars Technica has this article
- has this article
- RCR Wireless has this article

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