Spectrum Says Vandals Cause Another Outage In Queens

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There are more problems for Spectrum customers in Queens.

Vandals damaged a fiber optic cable, cutting TV, internet and phone services for Spectrum customers in central Queens, the company said in a statement.

As CBS2’s Marc Liverman reported, 30,000 customers were forced to put their patience to the test Tuesday thanks to the widespread outage.

The disruptions are also affecting many businesses, including Forest Hills Bagels.

“It’s very annoying we can’t work the way we usually work,” manager Luis Diaz said. “Eighty percent of our business is credit cards. People have been coming here for years with credit cards. It affects our business, we’re losing a lot of business.”

Borough President Melinda Katz says it’s one thing not to be able to watch your favorite TV show, but it’s something entirely different when someone’s life is on the line.

“We want to make sure that access to doctors, to emergency rooms, and everything they rely on at home is safe and sound,” Katz told CBS2.

This is not the first time vandals have targeted Spectrum cables.

On June 26, nearly 60,000 customers throughout Queens and Brooklyn were left without cable, internet or phone service after vandals cut Spectrum cable wires.

Contractors spent more than 16 hours trying to fix torn fibers. They told CBS2 whoever did it knew exactly what to do, as the wires are under heavy metal doors and are so thick that only tools can cut them.

“Regular outages over the course of once or twice a year, it’s expected. But two outages within two weeks? It’s kind of a big deal,” Spectrum customer Matthew Caldecutt said.

Back in April, vandals cut a Spectrum fiber optic cable on Cross Bay Boulevard in Queens. The vandalism affected 30,000 cable subscribers and caused $12,000 in damage, sources said.

A fiber optic cable was also damaged at Beach 94th Street and Beach Channel Drive below the Cross Bay Bridge around the same time, resulting in several thousand dollars in damage.

As for who’s responsible police haven’t said, but last month’s vandalism could be linked to Spectrum union workers who have been on strike for months, CBS2’s Marc Liverman reported. But union workers say otherwise.

“The union does not condone any vandalism,” union worker Patrick Paolo said. “We don’t want to affect any resident or any subscriber.”

Spectrum said late Tuesday that service to virtually all customers had been restored and crews were working on a few remaining. The restoration was expected to be completed Tuesday night.

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