Vandalism forces S.F. supervisors to postpone meeting

Mallory Moench
April 11, 2023

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San Francisco’s Board of Supervisors postponed its meeting shortly after it began Tuesday afternoon, after a fiber-optic line used to broadcast the meeting was cut about seven blocks away. The disruption also knocked out service to about 5,000 Comcast customers, the company said.

Comcast spokesperson Joan Hammel said in an email that the company became aware of the problem at Geary and Hyde streets at about noon Tuesday. The alleged vandalism “completely destroyed” an underground fiber enclosure, Hammel said. San Francisco police visited the scene and indicated they would investigate the matter further, he said.

“Comcast is working quickly and diligently to restore services for customers impacted by the damage to our network,” Hammel said, adding that service should be brought back by Tuesday evening. Roughly 5,000 customers may have had their service disrupted, but Comcast was still trying to verify the exact figure late Tuesday afternoon, Hammel said.

Board President Aaron Peskin said he was notified of the problem at about 1:30 p.m. Shortly after supervisors began their meeting at 2 p.m., they postponed it until Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. The apparent vandalism cut service to Channel 26, where visitors need to be able to watch the meeting on TV as required by law.

Dennis Jones, who works in the area, said he heard the commotion around 10:30 a.m. and came out to see a man wearing dark clothes kneeling beside the hole and pulling at wires. Jones did not recognize him.

He said four or five people stood around the man and reported that he had made statements like he was a government agent and said he was searching for someone lost inside the hole. Police arrived while the man was still there, Jones said. He did not see police or the man leave and didn’t know whether he was taken into custody.

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