No matter all of the advancements in wireless and mobile technology, at the end of the day, we're all still connected to a big wire somewhere. Early this morning, we discovered that one of those big wires is located under a busy Silicon Valley roadway.
At some point around 2 a.m. PDT, a fiber optic line owned by AT&T but leased to Verizon became damaged. It was located in a manhole about 10 feet below the roadway. San Jose Police told KCBS-radio that they suspect vandalism and are treating the area as a crime scene.
The damage to the line silenced landline phones, cell phone service and Internet access for many in the area. But it also impacted a number of Web sites, which have data centers in the Silicon Valley area that - apparently - are connected to that fiber optic line.
ZDNet and sister site BNET were among those impacted. As Internet traffic was re-routed, some users experienced time-outs and slow page loads. The impact was intermittent and people in different places were experiencing different results.
Repair crews are on the scene and expect to have full service restored by 6 p.m. PDT
update: AT&T is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction for those responsible "for the vandalism incidents." Following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, AT&T's networks were declared National Critical Infrastructures. Anyone who tampers with them is in violation of federal and state laws.
The damage cut off access to 911 emergency systems for people in the area.
There were actually two incidents - one in San Jose and another in San Carlos, which is about halfway between San Jose and San Francisco.
Tips can be given to the San Jose Police Department at 408-277-4161 (ask for Detective Carlos Melo or Detective Dan Phelan); Tips can be given to the San Carlos Police Department at 650-802-4423. Anonymous tip for either incident can be made to CrimeStoppers at 408-947-STOP.