GCI: Law enforcement investigating damaged fiber cable, outages

GCI Antenna. (Photo by Sir Mildred Pierce/Flickr Creative Commons)

Alaska’s largest telecommunications company, GCI, has blamed statewide outages over the weekend on intentional damage to a fiber optic cable in Midtown Anchorage.

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The damage caused spotty service for thousands of internet customers and some wireless customers, and GCI spokesperson Heather Handyside said an “outside actor” not working for GCI caused the damage.

“It appeared to be human caused, possibly intentional, and right now we have law enforcement investigating,” Handyside said.

But a lot remains unclear. GCI has refused to discuss the manner in which the cable was cut, why the company thinks criminal activity might be involved, or which law enforcement agency is investigating.

“Because this is part of an ongoing investigation, I can’t comment on any more of the details right now,” Handyside said.

Customers around the state complained of service outages beginning late Saturday. Handyside said GCI had everything working normally again by Sunday afternoon by rerouting service through backup systems. Technicians were still working on repairs Monday, she said.

Casey Grove is host of Alaska News Nightly, a general assignment reporter and an editor at Alaska Public Media. Reach him at cgrove@alaskapublic.org. Read more about Casey here

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