Dumb Thieves With Saws, Not Guns, To Blame For Internet Blackout

from the by-saw-or-by-gun dept

Well, well, well. Earlier this week we wrote about a report (the second one we'd ever heard of!) saying that gunfire had damaged a fiber optic cable, causing a bit of an internet slowdown in the northeastern part of the US. Turns out that wasn't exactly accurate -- though the real story isn't necessarily any less bizarre. It appears that the cable was actually cut with a saw, most likely by thieves hoping it was copper that could be sold. Of course, fiber optic cables don't contain copper, so the thieves ended up with something worth a lot less than they expected. But what about the gunshot? Well, it turns out that when crews arrived to fix up the cable, they discovered that the replacement cable had been shot up by gunfire. It's not explained how or why this might have happened, but the folks who store the fiber optic cable might want to come up with a better storage place.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    freakengine, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 8:49pm

    The guys who check out and replace fiber...

    ...probably aren't what you would call forensics "experts". The replacement cable might just have been gnawed on by rats.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Agreed, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 8:53pm

    Re: The guys who check out and replace fiber...

    How would the telco guys know that a bullet made the cut/break. Unless the cable was thick enough and the bullet actually made a hole, I'm not sure how this is possible.

    http://canyoubemymother.com

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    pointless, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 9:11pm

    bullet holes

    maybe there were bullet holes nearby and shells. what difference does it make

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 10:09pm

    Duh they knew cause they shot the fiber themselves

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    KingJacob, Aug 24th, 2007 @ 10:25pm

    What?

    So thieves looking for copper cut the cable with a saw and then shot up the replacement cable, tha sounds more like a person trying to turn off the internet than a copper thief.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 12:41am

    Maybe they're the ones who shot hole in it... Cable co sabotaged their own network a while back here too heh

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    golftango, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 3:36am

    y2k midwatch at the sprint noc ...

    ... all hands (and managers) present watching for the slightest anomaly when around 0300ct we lose connection to the southeast quadrant. after the hands nearly get trampled by managers eager to prove they can--by damm--still troubleshoot they wring a hard-fought rfo from the sprint plc center in atlanta: some drunk rednecks in a pickup truck shot down some aerial fiber with a shotgun.

    and thus passed y2k into fleeting memory ...

    /guy

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Malestone7469, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 4:01am

    I shot 'em up

    Me and mah gang was thah to steal 'um copper cables, but we were sore disappointed.
    Saw some othah cables lying 'round so decided to hav some fun!
    Shot 'em up with the .44 and blasted up with the shotguns, and see them cables ain't made of the dratted thing we came for. I ain't seen so much glass fly out of 'em.
    Drat! Drat! and Double Drat!

    Could have saved the shots and sold the copper instead....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    AT&T michigan bell cable instalation and repai, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 5:21am

    cable shot up

    listen, anyone can see a cable was shot up. as a life long repairman i have seen squirell chews, saw marks, bullet holes and lightning strikes etc you canT imagine what hits cable. we know damn well what we are looking at! we repair cable for a living!. 25 years now for me. people shoot at cable for no reason it not uncommon. after you have 25 years you can complain we dont know what we are doing.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    identicon
    Mystified, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 5:29am

    Get a Real Job

    What a stupid waste of Techdirt space. This article belongs in "Reuters: Oddly Enough".

    "Too much free time"? Mike should be given a lifetime of free time - you're fired!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Ben, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 8:09am

    Re: What?

    Sounds like that Tom Clancey novel is coming true...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    raffyster, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 8:45am

    No redudancy

    Scares me to think that a single fiber connection can take down a whole area network. whatever happened to Internet redudancy??? Scary!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 8:58am

    Re: No redudancy

    Ask Al Gore, he invented it, maybe he should be the one going out and repairing the cable.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Mark, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 9:00am

    Re: cable shot up

    How common of an occurence would you say this is?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 9:10am

    Re: Re: No redudancy

    right wing asshole!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 9:47am

    Re: Re: Re: No redudancy

    Rightwing leftwing there all assholes.....

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Sitekeeper, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 10:01am

    TISP

    I am glad I switched to TISP last year.... Now I no longer worry about land lines. Give it a try http://www.google.com/tisp/install.html

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    How many..., Aug 25th, 2007 @ 10:20am

    Re: TISP

    Installs have you had. This sounds like a great idea! Hey Goblin Juice this ones for you, run with it!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    Pawh, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 6:28pm

    Dad Blammitt' Squirrels !

    Went over to the communications area of Cleveland and shot hundreds of ground squirrels (sage rats) last weekend. Boy was that a blast. For any of you who have not done this before, you've got to put it on your to-do list.

    Between six of us, we probably shot 300 of the little suckers in less than two days. Went through about 6,000 rounds of .22lr. The best part of it is that the ISP's love people to come out and shoot them. There are thousands of the them living in the server farms. SysAdmins hate 'em 'cause they tear up their PC Networks.

    Basically, we just rode around in the back of a truck around the vast server farms and shot squirrels all day. Spent all day in 1-2 server farms. Then, that night, we went out spotlighting for jack rabbits. That was fun too, but there weren't too many rabbits out that night.

    Anyway, just thought I'd tell you all about the trip. If you ever get the chance to go over to Eastern Oregon to shoot some squirrels, you should do it. You won't be disappointed.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    The guy who would be replacing the cable, Aug 25th, 2007 @ 9:06pm

    Re: Re: The guys who check out and replace fiber..

    There have been multiple times we have repaired fiber and feeder damaged due to gunshots. Knuckleheads shooting at birds on the line. Much more common than you would think!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2007 @ 12:29am

    Re: cable shot up

    I know a guy who has been driving for twice as long as that, 50 years. The other day he ran off the road and wound up in the ditch. He claimed to have been dodging a bunch of space aliens on the road. He was absolutely sure of it. And he knew what he was talking about, by golly, because he'd been driving for 50 years!

    The point is, repairing cables for 25 years doesn't come anywhere near to making you a forensics expert. Hopefully, you are a good repairman, but even that is not guaranteed. Some people do things their whole lives and still don't get it right. For example, how long have you been reading and writing? Longer than than you've repairing cables I'd suspect, and yet you still don't know how to capitalize properly.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2007 @ 2:00am

    You're the one to rag the man for capitalization.
    Check out your last sentence.

    Fucking dipshits always trying to be better than everybody else.
    Half the posters are dimwits, and 25 percent are complaining.

    If you people don't have anything constructive to say, then maybe you should just STFU.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    PK, Aug 26th, 2007 @ 2:44am

    Re: Re: The guys who check out and replace fiber..

    My former job was splicing fiber for a large telecom outfit, and I came across a cable that some strands were broken due to shotgun pellets in the cable. I guess someone was hunting and shot a bird off the line...Who knows!!. But it sure took a while to find where it was broken.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Da Dude, Aug 26th, 2007 @ 6:20am

    cable

    do you all have nothing better to do than to idly ramble on about gunshots, fiberoptic cable, and who did what when and how???? Please, get off your computer, go outside... and get a life for petes sake.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Lars, Aug 26th, 2007 @ 10:09am

    Daarrr...

    Ya know,

    One of these days we are going to have a real necktie party.

    Until we reach a point where there is no need for cables -(prayer to high up on Heaven, "Scottie, Beam me up ! There is no intelligent life !")-there will always be room to discuss the hilarity of the brain dead of this planet as it relates to shooting holes in communications cables.

    'nuff said !

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2007 @ 11:30am

    Re:

    If you people don't have anything constructive to say, then maybe you should just STFU.

    STFU

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2007 @ 11:42am

    Re:

    "Fucking dipshits always trying to be better than everybody else.
    Half the posters are dimwits, and 25 percent are complaining."

    Hey repair guy, I recognize your vocabulary. Yeah, you're a real gem alright.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2007 @ 11:46am

    Re:

    You're the one to rag the man for capitalization.
    Check out your last sentence.
    You need to learn the difference between a typographical error and grammatical ignorance.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Oooooh !, Aug 26th, 2007 @ 1:18pm

    Food Fight ! Food Fight !

    Methinks I smell the beginnings of an honest ta god blog post based flame war !

    ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 26th, 2007 @ 4:56pm

    Re: Re: What?

    Which one? I've only read a few...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Hyrulio, Aug 26th, 2007 @ 6:27pm

    Conspiracy Theory.

    The RIAA did it! Lots of piracy! In fact, piracy makes up 156% of the internet's total bandwidth!

    Cut the cable, people don't have internet, they can't download stuff, the folks at the RIAA get a long weekend! :P

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2007 @ 3:42am

    21, Goody so you know some dipshit who's been driving for 50 yrs. Good for You. You don't need to be a Forensics expert, to know your job inside and out. Thanks for playing though, all's not lost, you've got the Asshole market cornered!!!! Hows that working for You???

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    name, Aug 27th, 2007 @ 7:17am

    Re: Re: cable shot up

    "Longer than than you've repairing cables I'd suspect, and yet you still don't know how to capitalize properly."


    "than than" maybe u should get some english lessons as well. when u have no argument about the article why do u choose to point out grammer mistakes? its R-E-T-A-R-D-E-D. Get a life. last time i checked no ones grading this crap, and so what if they are. find someone else to vent ur anger with the world at deutsche bag!




    "Peace and Love my fellow beings"

    pfft

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2007 @ 9:44am

    Re: Re: Re: cable shot up

    REpair Guy,
    Just how many sock puppets are you going to use anyway?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Sock Pirate, Aug 27th, 2007 @ 12:39pm

    Driving

    while shooting, wires from the back o' the pick-up !

    Yahoo !

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Tom, Sep 11th, 2007 @ 7:16pm

    Yes, bullets in the fiber does happen

    I work for a cable company and we have had outages that were due to bullets in the fiber. The outage was oddly sporadic and causing the signal to go out to areas in the forward, and then other areas the modem return would cease.

    The fiber was OTDR'd and we saw the issue at the certain distance and then go away. We drove out the span and and saw no damage. after just isolating the section and cutting out several hundred feet we found a .38 that had entered the jacket at an angle then traveled inside the armor jacket that surrounds the actual fiber buffer tubes. The bullet had traveled well over a meter down the length of the cable, essentially hiding it. Not as easy to find as bar darts and arrows that get up there as well.

    My grammar is yours to destroy as you see fit. >_

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This