Sabotage? Rash of fiber cuts dog Verizon

Some 150 fiber cuts all along the northeastern corridor irritate thousands of customers


Verizon and local police departments along the east coast have been tracking a series of seemingly deliberate fiber cuts that have been robbing consumers of cable, phone and Internet services.

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The number and the precision of some the cuts leads police and others to believe they are related to the now weeks long strike between some 40,000 Verizon workers represented by the Communications Workers of America and management. The workers went on strike April 13 primarily impacting Verizon’s wireline business, in nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States plus Washington, D.C.

"These are just the latest of approximately 150 similar incidents that have happened nationwide since April 13, which also happens to be the day that the strike began. I want to stress that we don’t know who did this or why, but their agenda or motivation is irrelevant – they may know enough to cut the correct wires to cause harm, but they do not know who or what those wires support – whether it is an alarm system, a medical device, or a phone for someone elderly," Mike Murphy, spokesman for Verizon told Fox News in Boston this week after a cable cut in a suburb of Boston knocked out service for hundreds of customers.

There have been similar reports in New York, Pittsburgh and Delaware.

In April Verizon said “thousands of Verizon customers have been cut off from critical services over the past few days as criminals have damaged or destroyed critical network facilities. There have been at least 24 suspected incidents of sabotage over the past week in five states in which services were cut off for thousands of residential and business customers, including a local police and fire department in New Jersey.

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“We will find out who’s behind these highly dangerous criminal acts and we will pursue criminal charges,” said Michael Mason, Verizon’s chief security officer in a statement. “These reckless perpetrators are risking the lives of countless Americans by cutting access to key lines of communications, especially to local police, fire and rescue personnel. If someone has an emergency and needs to contact local authorities, these malicious actions could prevent that from happening.”

For its part the CWA says it is not encouraging any vandalism and points to potential issues surrounding strike replacement workers.

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