Verizon, which provides network connectivity to a wide range of customers, has faced a slew of problems as of late pertaining to damaged facilities. Now, the communications company is launching a plan to reward those who may have tips on who is cutting cables. Verizon stated on April 20 that a $10,000 reward will be given to individuals who have information leading to the arrest and prosecution of vandals.
"These perpetrators are putting lives at risk and these dangerous acts need to stop," said Michael Mason, Verizon's chief security officer and former FBI member. "It's a violation of federal law to damage critical communications facilities. We have dispatched additional Verizon security teams in all states where this illegal activity is taking place. We're also working with law enforcement to ensure our networks and facilities are secure so that our customers can connect where and when they need to."
Some of the instances being reported include the slicing of fiber optic cabling at a network facility box in New Jersey, as well as the sabotage of phone services in Massachusetts. Fiber optic and copper cables were also sliced in Pennsylvania, and New York, which disrupted voice communications and Internet connectivity.
"We will find out who's behind these highly dangerous criminal acts and we will pursue criminal charges," Mason continued. "These reckless perpetrators are risking the lives of countless Americans by cutting access to key lines of communications, especially to local police, fire and rescue personnel. If someone has an emergency and needs to contact local authorities, these malicious actions could prevent that from happening."
Ironically, these instances of vandalism occurred around the time that more than 36,000 Verizon employees went on strike. It appears that Verizon's wireline business has been more vulnerable throughout nine Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States, as well as Washington D.C.
In addition to providing a reward, Verizon is encouraging the general public to report misconduct or suspicious activity by calling 911, and then contacting the Verizon Security Control Center. Throughout the week of April 18, there were approximately 24 suspected cases of sabotage in five states, impacting the connectivity of both businesses and residential customers.