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Vandals blamed for phone, internet outages in SoCal high desert

Jun 04, 2023

Vandals who slashed fiber-optic cables are being blamed for phone and internet service outages across Southern California’s high desert Sunday, according to officials.

Officials for Spectrum, an internet, TV and phone provider, reported finding fiber-optic cable lines cut in Hesperia, which the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is investigating as vandalism, agency spokesperson Mara Rodriguez said. She said the slashed cables affected Spectrum and Verizon customers, but was unable to say how many people lost service.

Outage updates shared by Spectrum showed interruptions to internet and landline phone services — but not cellphones — across the Apple Valley and Victorville regions, with some still out as of early Monday.

However, Spectrum spokesperson Dennis Johnson said Monday morning the issue had been resolved.

“Our lines were damaged yesterday as a result of vandalism in the Victorville area,” Johnson said. “Our teams responded right away and we made the necessary repairs to the fiber cuts to restore service last night.”

Verizon spokesperson Heidi Flato said that cellphone service outages affected their customers in Santa Clarita, as well as in Victorville and the Apple Valley. She said the outages were “due to a third-party fiber cut earlier,” but all services were restored as of 11 p.m. Sunday.

T-Mobile officials also reported “a small number of customers” in the high desert losing service, with the issue resolved Sunday, according to a statement from the company. The statement did not say how many people were affected.

Rodriguez said no arrest has been made in the vandalism case.