Poke a Cable, End the Internet - The UpStream

Poke a Cable, End the Internet

posted Sunday Apr 10, 2011 by Scott Ertz

Poke a Cable, End the Internet

In our area of Florida we have recently had a problem with people breaking into power junction facilities and stealing copper wire to sell as scrap. We have even seen them try and cut down live wires for the copper. Apparently, this is not just a local problem. In Georgia, the country not the state, even elderly women will dig in the ground looking for abandoned copper wiring for scrap. Sometimes that process is not as easy as it sounds.

This week, one elderly woman cut a line in this search that ended up having major consequences for a lot of people. This line was a main fiber optics line that controlled Internet access for more than 3 million people in Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. It is reported that she managed to accomplish this impressive act with nothing more than a basic household spade shovel.

How did she pull this off and what happened to her? Hit the break to find out.

Theoretically, these cables are always heavily protected, so it is hard to believe that this particular one was able to be hit by a simple spade. However, the area is subject to landslides and heavy rains, so that could have unearthed the cabling. No amount of natural interference should have allowed for a 75-year-old woman to cut it with a gardening tool.

An alarm obviously sounded as soon as the cable was cut and authorities arrived soon after to arrest her. She was released shortly after, stating "old age". If found guilty of a crime, she could face 3 years in prison.

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