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Train takes out fiber-optics line, causes widespread cable outage

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Internet has been restored to some areas after a CSX Corp. train broke a fiber-optic wire along Route 35 in Potsdam at about 6:30 a.m. today, causing widespread cable outages across the region.

Time Warner Cable customers in Ogdensburg told reporters their service was resumed around 11:45 a.m., but areas in Canton and Potsdam remained disconnected.

Time Warner Cable Central New York region spokeswoman Stephanie Salanger said the train damaged about a half a mile of fiber-optics line.

“We’re at the mercy of CSX until they can clear the area and make sure it’s safe for our techs to get out there,” she said. “Obviously we’re dying to get in there.”

The cable, Internet and phone outages affect Time Warner Cable customers in areas including Ogdensburg, Gouverneur, Waddington, Canton, Morristown and Potsdam. It was not immediately clear if more areas were impacted.

Time Warner technicians must reconnect the 192 individual wires contained inside the cable, so services will be restored piecemeal.

“It is not simply hitting one switch and everything goes back on,” said Ms. Salanger. “I wish it were that easy, the network is very complicated, there is a lot of technology that goes into it.”

There is not yet any estimate on how long repairs will take or when service will be restored to all areas.

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