By Marguerite Reardon
April 13, 2009
A simple snip of a few fiber-optic communications cables left thousands
of people in Silicon Valley and throughout parts of the San Francisco
Bay Area without phone, Internet, or wireless service for more than 12
hours on Thursday.
The San Jose Police Department is investigating the incidents, which
took place in two different locations in San Jose and San Carlos and
classified as acts of vandalism. Now that the network is up and running
again, people are asking how difficult is it to take down the nation's
communications network? And should we be more worried about the fiber
optic cables that ring our communities and crisscross the country
carrying all of our communications?
"A couple of well-placed attacks could do a lot of damage to the
communications network," said Sam Greenholtz, co-founder and principal
of Telecom Pragmatics, a consulting and research firm specializing in
the telecommunications market. "And it's not really that hard to figure
out where the fiber optic cables are laid and to get access to them."
That said, Sgt. Ronnie Lopez of the San Jose Police Department said
there is no reason yet to suspect terrorism in this case. But the FBI
has been briefed on the case.
AT&T is offering a $250,000 reward to anyone who can provide information
that leads to the arrest and conviction of the vandals.
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