Cable Thieves: Telecom company explains recent internet disconnections

Thieves have stolen about nine kilometers of optical fiber cables from residential buildings in the Armenian capital Yerevan, resulting in internet disconnections, a local telecom company says.

According to Beeline Armenia, cable thefts were registered in as many as 158 buildings in Yerevan’s Malatia-Sebastia, Erebuni, Achapnyak, Avan and Davidashen districts in September and October as a result of which internet users using Beeline services were temporarily left without the service.

The damage caused to the company is estimated at 12 million drams (about $25,000).

“In response to the actions of the thieves the company has introduced a system of monitoring of its cable infrastructure,” Beeline Armenia security service chief Sergey Khoroshilov said on Wednesday. He added that the system will quickly detect cable cuts and the company and the Armenian police will react to the alerts.

Beeline Armenia CEO Andrey Pyatakhin said: “Now that the investigation is drawing to an end the company considers it important to share with its FTTB (Fiber to the Building) users all details and reasons for the internet outages. We have allocated additional means that run into millions in order to quickly restore the damaged and stolen cables. This investment will enable us to minimize the consequences of the actions of criminals and the new system of monitoring will enable us to quickly react to malfunctions, physical damage and theft.”

Two people were reportedly arrested by police in late October on suspicion of committing the theft of internet cables from residential buildings in Yerevan.

In all cases when cables in residential buildings were stolen criminals posed as telecom workers and warned residents about “maintenance work” being carried out in their buildings with “possible internet disconnections”. After that they just removed the cables and left.

Beeline asks its subscribers to report all internet disconnections by dialing the customer service phone number or via the company’s Facebook account.