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75-year-old Georgian woman cuts off Armenia's internet access

A pensioner looking for scrap metal slices through a fibre optic cable – knocking out Armenia’s internet for five hours.

A 75-YEAR-OLD WOMAN could find herself sentenced to three years in jail, after it emerged that she was to blame for accidentally disconnecting the entire nation of Armenia from the internet for up to 28 hours.

The woman – from the neighbouring country of Georgia – was scavenging for copper to sell as scrap metal last month when she accidentally cut an underground fibre optic cable with a spade, cutting off all of Armenia’s internet as well as some of Georgia’s own connectivity.

The cable was used to supply the connections for all three of Armenia’s main internet service providers – and it took repair workers five hours to find the site of the disconnection and repair the damage.

90 per cent of Armenian internet connections are hooked up through the neighbouring country’s network, the Guardian reported.

A spokesman for Georgia’s interior ministry said the woman had been taken in for questioning before being released on account of her age, but that the matter had not yet been closed.

Because the cable is the property of the national Georgian Railway Telecom company, the woman could face charges of damage to public property. If charged and convicted, she could be sentenced to three years in prison.

Though the line is usually meant to be buried deep underground – a predictable move, given the major implications of any damage to it – it is thought that it had become more exposed due to recent weather conditions.

“We don’t know how she found the optic cable, which was secure,” a baffled GRT spokesman told Bloomberg.