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Gunplay fingered for internet slowdown

Fibre-optic cable shot to ribbons

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US ISPs were forced to reroute traffic after a stretch of fibre-optic cable was shot to bits in Ohio last Sunday night.

TeliaSonera lost the northern branch of its US network as a result of the sabotage, which damaged a span of fibre optic cable near Cleveland around 1.1km (or two thirds of a mile) long. "Somebody had been shooting with a gun or a shotgun into the cable," Anders Olausson, a TeliaSonera spokesman, told IDG.

The knock-on effects of a night of fun for local good ol' boys was an increase in latency by some ISPs across the Eastern seaboard and a consequential slow down in internet speeds on Monday. Shooting up road signs would have been far less problematic.

The outage kicked in at about 10pm local time on Sunday night. Technicians pulled the affected cables, reportedly owned by Level 3 Communications, after affecting the location of the fault to discover that sections of the cable were riddled with bullets.

It's unclear when full repairs might be completed, but measures already put in place mean that internet traffic is beginning to flow as normal. Cable laying crews might be well advised to lay an armoured section of cable, of the type normally used exclusively for undersea cables, as a replacement as a precaution against further breakages. ®

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