An unspecified act of vandalism on underground AT&T cables Wednesday appears to be the latest in a string of deliberate acts aimed at local communications systems.
Wednesday’s vandalism brought down wireless and landline service to customers in Walnut Creek for the second time in as many weeks. The outage, which was almost completely restored by 10:30 a.m., blacked out the City of Walnut Creek’s Internet systems as well as services for thousands of others but did not impact the area’s emergency communications networks.
The fragility of the area’s power and communications grids has been brought home in recent days after a foraging squirrel was blamed for a blackout that left 45,000 homes from Berkeley to Richmond without power Monday evening.
Wednesday’s sabotage follows other acts of vandalism apparently aimed at communications networks and troubling security experts puzzling to come up with ways to protect their networks.
AT&T officials said Wednesday they are offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for Wednesday’s vandalism. Anyone with information can leave an anonymous tip on AT&T’s Asset Protection line at 800.807.4205.