What would you do without internet service? That is a question several residents in France had to answer this week as some nefarious actors sabotaged fiber optical cables resulting in a loss of connection.
An investigation begins
News outlet RFI reported on Thursday that the Paris prosecutor’s office had opened a preliminary investigation on Wednesday into the suspected sabotage of France's fiber optic cables. Some of the companies affected were Bouygues Telecom, Orange, Netalis, SFR, and Free.
“Internet cables have been cut in the Ile-de-France region, which is affecting the landline and mobile network. We are in touch with operators who are working to restore service,” said in a Tweet in French Cédric O, the country’s Minister of digital affairs, early Wednesday morning.
Des coupures de câbles ont été confirmées en Île-de-France impactant le réseau fixe et mobile. Nous sommes en lien avec les opérateurs qui sont en train de rétablir le service.— Cédric O (@cedric_o) April 27, 2022
Les utilisateurs touchés peuvent utiliser le 112 depuis un mobile pour accéder aux services d’urgence.
On the same day, Free tweeted images of some of the damaged cables with the caption: “Multiple malicious acts on infra fiber during the night and the morning."
As of yet, no one has any information on why the cables were targeted and how they were damaged. However, the cities that lost connection as a result of this act of vandalism were reported to include Paris, Lyon, Reims, Bordeaux, and Grenoble.
Now, the prosecutor's office is considering pressing charges of “damaging goods of a nature of harming the fundamental interests of the nation,” as well as “obstruction of an automatic data processing system” and criminal association.
Furthermore, France's internal intelligence service, known as the DGSI, will assist in the investigation, along with the judicial police.