The theft early Thursday of fiber-optic cable lines left between 5,000 and 7,000 Comcast customers in northeast Spokane without television, high-speed Internet and phone services.
Comcast crews restored services in the afternoon.
About 4:45 a.m., 300 feet of cable strung through a temporary location at a construction site for the north-south freeway project were cut and stolen, said Steve Kipp, vice president of communications for Comcast.
The cables contain no scrap metal value, Kipp said. “We believe the thieves may have mistaken the cables for copper,” he said.
The company won’t release the exact location of the theft, but it is filing a police report, Kipp said.
Normally the fiber lines would have been in a secure location buried in conduit several feet below ground, Kipp said. But due to freeway construction, these lines had to be located in a less secure, temporary location, he said.
The fiber-optic lines provide video, voice and data services to thousands of Comcast customers.