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Police seek assistance on 'vandalised' Telstra cables

NSW Police are seeking assistance from members of the public after the severing of Telstra telecommunications cables in Blacktown last week, which left 10,000 homes and businesses in Western Sydney without communications for two days.
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Written by AAP and  Brett Winterford on

NSW Police are seeking assistance from members of the public after the severing of Telstra telecommunications cables in Blacktown last week, which left 10,000 homes and businesses in Western Sydney without communications for two days.

Telstra reported that two of its cables had been severed 'by vandals' last Saturday after telephone, Internet, fax and EFTPOS lines went down in Blacktown, Rooty Hill, Erskine Park, Arndell Park, and Shalvey.

"This is a stupid, criminal act and the community should be rightly outraged," said a Telstra spokesperson at the time.

But NSW Police superintendent Mark Jenkins, investigating the matter, says the NSW Police is "keeping an open mind as to whether it is vandalism or an accident".

Telstra said that the outage was the work of vandals, as the cable had been cut in "two separate locations".

"Certainly, we believe the cables were deliberately cut ... you certainly couldn't do this by accident," the Telstra spokesperson told AAP last week.

The NSW Police, however, have informed ZDNet.com.au that the "cable was only cut at one location" — a telecommunications access pit in Alpha St, Blacktown.

These pits are designed to give access to Telstra technicians should they need to service the network.

"There is quite a degree of skill required to get access to the cables," says Jenkins. "It would require specialised equipment and effort." NSW Police are speaking to a number of witnesses in the area and conducting a forensic examination of the pit.

Anybody with information is asked to contact Crimestoppers on 1800 333 000.

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