NORWALK, Conn. — One or more people cut 10 multi-conductor fiber optic cables on Broad Street on Friday morning, knocking out service for thousands of Optimum internet customers.
The company is calling the incident vandalism and may have been an attempt to steal copper wire.
According to Janet Meahan, Optimum’s senior vice president for communications, a total of 16,000 customers lost service.
“I’m happy to report that several thousand have come back online. Restoration efforts continue,” Meahan said Friday afternoon.
Approximately an 80-foot length of the cables was cut from below the Route 7 Connector overpass, with the outage detected at 3:30 a.m., according to supervisors at the scene.
Dozens of Optimum field technicians from Connecticut and New York were at the secluded location near the Norwalk River working on restoring service Friday morning.
The outage cut internet, telephone and TV service in parts of Norwalk, New Canaan, Westport, Weston, Wilton and Redding, according to Optimum’s outage map.
Optimum supervisors said some service would be restored by Friday evening, but full repairs could take up to three days.
They said it’s likely the perpetrators thought the cables contained copper wire. The cut lengths of cable were left abandoned on the ground.
The cables are strung on utility poles along the north side of Broad Street from Main Avenue to New Canaan Avenue. Where they reach the overpass, they are hung under the Route 7 roadway.
Asked how he thought the perpetrators reached the cables to cut them. Optimum outside technician Nelson Villifane said, “Had to use a cherry picker. To get that much leverage.”
Norwalk Police Public Information Officer Lt. Joseph Dinho said the incident is being investigated by the Detective Bureau.
At 8:18 p.m. Friday, Meahan said Optimum service had been restored to more than 99% of affected customers.
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