New York

Queens Customers Lose Internet, Phone Service for 2nd Time in Two Weeks After Vandals Damage Cable, Spectrum Says

Spectrum didn't immediately provide a number of customers affected by Tuesday's outage, which comes two weeks after 60,000 lost internet and phone services after vandals cut a fiber optic cable

What to Know

  • Tuesday's outage is the second in less than two weeks for Queens Spectrum customers; the company didn't say how many users were affected
  • On June 26, vandals cut a fiber optic cable serving four major hubs, knocking out service to 60,000 customers
  • Police have not released details of their investigation into the vandalism

Spectrum customers in Queens begged for help all the way up to Mayor de Blasio and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman after they lost TV, internet and phone services for the second time in two weeks Tuesday, the result of vandals again damaging a fiber optic cable, according to the cable company.

A company spokesperson confirmed the outage to NBC 4 New York in a 9:30 a.m. email, saying crews were on site and working to repair the damaged cable. The spokesperson said customers in central Queens were affected but did not offer a specific number.  

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"We appreciate our customers' patience while we restore service as quickly as possible," the statement said.  

In an email to NBC 4 New York, a spokesperson for the cable company said repairs were progressing.  

"As we splice replacement fibers and/or repair the cuts, customers do come back into service, so it's a gradual process. Not a flash restoral," the spokesperson wrote. 

Spectrum sent "repair crews out in the affected areas soon after the cuts were detected" by network surveillance teams, the spokesperson said. 

A verified Twitter account @Ask_Spectrum was responding to dozens of complaints from frustrated users starting around 7 a.m. Each response offered apologies, describing the outage as a "known issue posted for the area." 

The account tweeted that crews hoped to have service restored by the evening. 

One student in Forest Hills told NBC 4 New York she's lost services at least four times in the last few months and it affected her ability to do school projects. Another woman from Rego Park said she telecommutes and couldn't work because of the outage. She says Spectrum told her much of the borough was affected by the outage. Customers took to Twitter to express their outrage.

"@Ask_Spectrum another outage in Queens NYC, this is unacceptable #spectrum #spectrumoutage," one user tweeted. 

"2nd cable outage this month! @Ask_Spectrum @GetSpectrum i hope you are deducting this from our bills ��#spectrum #foresthills #wtf #queens," said another. 

Others tweeted pleas for help at the mayor's office; at least one asked Schneiderman's office to intervene.

The cable company tweeted shortly after 1 p.m., at least six hours after the initial outage, that "techs are making progress," but said it still could not provide a timetable for service restoration. 

The outage comes less than two weeks after vandals knocked out cable and internet to 60,000 customers in Queens by cutting a fiber optic cable serving four major hubs. It took more than 15 hours for Spectrum to restore service to customers following the June 26 outage, which started around 2 a.m. and spread across central Queens. No other borough was affected.   

Police have not released information about their investigation into the June 26 destruction of the fiber optic cable. 

(Disclaimer: NBCUniversal is owned by Comcast, a competitor of Charter Spectrum.)

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