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Vandalized cable causes internet, phone outages throughout northern Arizona

Elizabeth Medora ~ Staff~ 3/2/2015

NORTH VALLEY – A cut cable took down internet and phone services on Feb. 25 for many CenturyLink customers across the north valley and north to Flagstaff. Outages began to be reported at approximately 12 p.m. that day, prompting CenturyLink employees to contact the Phoenix Police Department.

According to a news release from Phoenix Police, CenturyLink employees “advised officers that at around noon they started receiving complaints of interrupted cable and internet service.” The release stated that CenturyLink was able to pin down the cause of the outage to the area of New River Road (west of I-17). A cable in the desert area near New River Road and Circle Mountain Road was found to have been cut through.

“When employees inspected the cable conduits in that area, they found some unknown person(s) had cut completely through the cable, which caused the service disruption,” the release continued.

CenturyLink began posting Facebook updates on the status of the outage at 2:09 p.m. on Feb. 25.

“The majority of customers in North Phoenix and Northern Arizona experienced disruptions to their Internet, Prism TV, and third-party cell services on Feb. 25,” said Alex Juarez, CenturyLink Market Development and PR (Phoenix area). “Customers were able to make local calls – 911 services were rerouted.”

Businesses experienced significant disruptions without internet or phone service; many could only accept cash payments and could not access any business databases. Local schools were also affected by the outage.

Juarez said technicians began work as soon as possible to restore services.

“The vandalism occurred at approximately noon and, due to our technicians’ hard work, services began to return at approximately 6 p.m. for northern Arizona and 1 a.m. for Anthem, New River, and Black Canyon City.” Juarez said. “The Phoenix Police are currently investigating the crime.”

According to Phoenix Police, “No suspect(s)/motives have been determined at this time.”

The Phoenix Police news release concluded: “We are asking anyone who may have seen anything suspicious in the area, or who may have knowledge concerning this investigation to please call Silent Witness at (480) W-I-T-N-E-S-S. As always, any caller may remain anonymous.”

Residents who think they have seen or are witnessing any kind of vandalism should call 911 as soon as possible.

“If consumers see any type of vandalism being committed, they should call 911,” Juarez said. CenturyLink has no identified hotline for suspected vandalism. The company could not offer any further information due to the ongoing investigation.