Frustrated man in China sets fire to ‘slow’ internet cables, causes days-long internet shutdown for thousands

slow internet cable fire
  • A Chinese man took out his frustration on a public telecommunications box with optical fiber network cables by setting it on fire with a lighter and a napkin.
  • The man was allegedly aggravated because of the “slow” connection of the Internet cafe he was in.
  • The damage caused several buildings in the area — including a public hospital and 4,000 households and offices — to lose their internet connection for up to two days.
  • He has been sentenced to seven years in jail for "destroying public telecommunications facilities."

A Chinese court has sentenced a man to seven years of imprisonment for allegedly setting a telecommunications box on fire because the Internet was reportedly “slow.”

The man, only identified by his surname Lan, was sentenced on Monday for the incident that occurred in China’s autonomous region of Guangxi in June 2021, according to Agence France-Presse via The Straits Times.

Lan allegedly took out his frustration on a public telecommunications box with optical fiber network cables because of the “slow” connection of the internet cafe he was in, according to the Cenxi City court. Lan allegedly “used a lighter to set a napkin he had on him on fire, then burned down a telecommunications box at a traffic intersection.”

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The incident resulted in the loss of internet connection for several buildings in the area – including a public hospital and 4,000 households and offices – which lasted between 28 and 50 hours.

Authorities eventually seized Lan’s lighter. Months later, he was sentenced to seven years in prison for “destroying public telecommunications facilities.”

Featured Image via Khairil Yusof (CC BY 2.0)

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