North American Network Operators Group

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Increasing cable theft and outages

  • From: Sean Donelan
  • Date: Mon Feb 04 12:54:22 2008

While the conspiracy folks go crazy, cable outages are pretty much normal
and increasing around the world as the price of copper increases and thieves get confused about what cables contain copper.
Thieves hacked up and hauled away three miles of telephone and Internet cable along the twisting mountain road leading to the remote location, apparently to sell on the thriving scrap market for copper. Burying a new cable will cost an estimated $3.2 million, so monument Supervisor Craig Ackerman is working on a microwave link.
Qwest workers spent most of Friday repairing vandalism to about 6,200 feet of fiber-optic cable that was cut in Kelso, and as they were headed home about 12:30 a.m. Saturday they were dispatched to handle another outage that cut long-distance service to 20,000 customers in Pacific and western Wahkiakum counties in Washington and Clatsop County, Ore.
Network Rail said there had been more than 1,000 incidents of copper cable theft in the last year, costing more than #4m.
Vietnam telecom officials estimate it will take at least a month and cost over $5.84m to fix damaged undersea fiber-optic cables stolen by fishermen for salvage.