“Sabotage”: several severed cables at the origin of a major internet outage in France

I no longer have internet in my village », sagacious Internet user. ” Same here, at the tip of the Ardennes: no more internet (fiber) and no more 4G », continues another. This Wednesday, April 27 in the morning, many French people are complaining of difficulties in connecting. And for good reason: incidents are increasing in France, following major sabotage.

An official state source confirms to “Obs” that it is a ” coordinated malicious act “, particularly ” severe ” and ” very rare “.

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It is clearly sabotage and the prosecution has been seized “, Continues this source.

An investigation was opened and teams dispatched to the scene.

A telecom engineer noted that ” around 3:20 a.m., 3:40 a.m. and 5:20 a.m., cables of several long-distance fiber networks were partially severed “. It would be cables from Paris towards Strasbourg, Lyon and Lille “. These “long-distance” fiber optic cables make it possible to connect the major French cities to each other, in particular for infrastructures, such as data centers. It is also via this network that fixed Internet access (ADSL and fibre), and certain telephone lines, circulate.


The Paris-Lyon line would have been the first cut, followed by Paris-Strasbourg, both belonging to the operator SFR, and widely used by Free. A third Paris-Lille line has finally been severed, it belongs to another foreign operator. And the impact goes well beyond these large cities to spread to the entire area.

It must be understood that the locations of these cables are not very accessible. These are not cabinets that can be found in the street, but buried pipes (not necessarily deeply, as illustrated by photos shared by Free on Twitter).

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A source in telecoms tells us that the cut on the Paris-Lyon cable is located at the level of the village of La Chapelle-la-Reine (Seine-et-Marne) and is due to “ an act of vandalism “. ” The Parisian He evokes cut cables in Fresnes-en-Woëvre (Meuse), Meaux and Souppes-sur-Loing (Seine-et-Marne), and Le Coudray-Montceaux (Essonne).

A source in telecom infrastructure already speaks of ” an attack that can be assimilated to cyberterrorism “.

In recent years, an increasing number of cell towers have been vandalized (70 in 2020), but this did not affect the fixed Internet since the important cables carrying the network pass through undisclosed locations.

This situation is very worrying because it is a real operationcontinues our state source. It can be clever little militants like much more serious [sous-entendu, une volonté terroriste, NDLR]. The gendarmerie will be mobilized to monitor on the ground. »

70% of its capacities degraded at Free

The consequences of these cuts are already very real. The website Free-Network, which displays anomalies with the operator Free, lists this Wednesday noon 190 connection difficulties in France, mainly concentrated in the north and east of the country, as well as the south of Ile-de-France. Similar observation by the site ADSL areawhich mentions 8,314 failures on the fixed Internet in the past 24 hours, and 1,123 failures on mobile networks, mainly impacting the operator Free, and to a lesser extent SFR.

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According to our information, Free records 70% of its degraded capacities. The operator, however, did not wish to react. On TwitterFree reported of “ multiple malicious acts “on the infrastructure now” circumscribed “.

The Orange and Bouygues Telecom networks were spared. ” Some telecom players indicate having observed breaks in internet linkstells us Bouygues Telecom, which provides do not use the links affected by these malfunctions. »

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For its part, SFR confirms that ” fiber lines were cut around Lyon and in Île-de-France », and are already being repaired. ” It’s clearly vandalism “, we are told at the operator.

The return to normal should not occur before Wednesday evening. ” It might be latertells us an operator. The repair work is very heavy. “The few pictures circulating show that the cables have been cut in several places, which requires removing the damaged fiber to put a new one – ” it’s the worst and involves the most work “Slips an expert in the sector.

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“Sabotage”: several severed cables at the origin of a major internet outage in France

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