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Stray Bullet Causes Large Service Outage for Suddenlink in North Carolina

Phillip Dampier June 4, 2019 Altice USA, Consumer News, Public Policy & Gov't No Comments

A stray bullet that hit a fiber optic line in late May eventually disrupted Altice/Suddenlink service in eastern North Carolina and caused a minor outage for the Beaufort County 911 Communication Center.

The bullet, recovered by the Washington, N.C. Police Department, damaged the overhead fiber optic line it struck, eventually bringing service down for nearly a day.

Suddenlink first detected the problem on a Saturday in late May, but did not identify the fiber line as “shot” until a day later, at which point WPD officers responded to the scene. The cable company evidently did not start repairs until after a widespread service outage began.

Most of the information about the outage was provided by the local police department, because Suddenlink has not responded to requests for details about the outage’s extent or duration. A police report about the incident shows that there were no calls to 911 to report the shooting, and a suspect has not been identified. The WPD classified the incident as “damage to property.”

The Washington Daily News reports that there was some disruption to the city’s public safety operations.

“911 operations are impacted by any interruption in internet service, but we can operate without it for a short period of time,” Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Charlie Rose told the newspaper. “We may receive notice if there is a planned outage for maintenance. Our service has been slow today, but hasn’t been out completely.”

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