More than 40,000 households in southwest Berlin lost internet and television after cable lines were damaged. Police are investigating whether the outage is connected to an attempted bank robbery in the area.
More than 40,000 residences in three southwest Berlin neighborhoods lost internet in their households early on Sunday morning after a major cable was severed, according to multiple reports.
"In Wilmersdorf, a cable duct was opened and a fiber optic cable was severed," a Vodafone spokesperson told the Berliner Morgenpost.
The majority of affected homes were Vodafone customers according to reports, although an unspecified number of Telekom customers were also affected.
Bank robbery the cause?
Berlin authorities were investigating whether an attempted bank robbery was the cause of the internet shutdown.
Robbers tried to immobilize a junction at a street corner in Schmargendorf — a neighborhood between the three affected Berlin neighborhoods — to hinder an alarm system in an attempt to rob the Berlin Sparkasse bank, according to the Berliner Morgenpost. The unidentified robbers did not appear to have stolen anything and fled the scene at around 3:00 AM local time after triggering the bank's security system, according to the Berliner Zeitung newspaper.
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A Telekom spokesperson said that 16 fiber optic cables were affected. The company's technicians were not able to fix the problem on Sunday, according to Berlin-based radio station RBB.
"They are not something you can just patch up," the Telekom spokesperson said. "You have to stitch them together from socket to socket."
However, Vodafone was able to restore service to households in the three Berlin neighborhoods at 17:50 PM local time, according to Berlin-based newspaper Der Tagesspiegel.