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AT&T Offers $100K To Nab Fiber Vandals

AT&T is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for cutting multiple fiber-optic cables on its network near San Jose and San Carlos, Calif., which took out mobile phone and Verizon's Internet and landline phone service in the region.

Comcast, the incumbent cable provider in the Bay Area, did not experience any service disruptions because of the AT&T fiber cut, spokesman Andrew Johnson said.

The only impact on Comcast was that employees in the operator's Santa Cruz, Calif., sales and customer-service office could not make or receive phone calls for the duration of the outage, Johnson said.

The outage initially affected Internet access and phone service for about 52,200 Verizon household landlines in Morgan Hill, Gilroy and Santa Cruz County, the San Jose Mercury News reported. Wireless networks operated by Verizon, Sprint Nextel and AT&T also were affected.

AT&T said it immediately began the process of restoring service in affected areas following the fiber cuts in the early morning hours of Thursday April 9. The company said it had restored service to most areas by late in the day, and said the network was fully restored by 6 a.m. local time Friday.

According to the telco, the vandalism incidents occurred in manholes at two locations: The intersection of Monterey Highway and Blossom Hill Road overpass in San Jose, and the intersection of Old County Road and Varian Road in San Carlos.

AT&T noted that following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the U.S. government declared its networks National Critical Infrastructures in recognition of their importance to the nation's security.

"Anyone who tampers with, destroys or disrupts the company's network or its components is in violation of federal and state laws and AT&T will assist with any prosecution to the fullest extent of the law," the company said in a statement.