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Shots blamed as thousands in Oakland lose Comcast connection and can’t watch 49ers game

Up to 25,000 Comcast customers in Oakland lost internet and cable service — and access to the 49ers big game — on Sunday after the company’s fibers were apparently cut, according to a Comcast spokesperson. by bullets.

The outage was first reported around 5 a.m. when bullets apparently severed Comcast’s fibers at several locations near 69th Avenue and MacArthur Boulevard, said Joan Hammel, a Comcast spokeswoman. Hammel said Comcast had suffered similar gunshot damage in the past.

Oakland police were investigating a shooting that occurred around 3:30 a.m. in the 6800 block of MacArthur Boulevard, according to a police statement. The police department’s ShotSpotter gunshot detection system reported 17 shots. At the scene, officers found bullet casings and surveillance video showed a person inside a vehicle firing shots through the window “into the air”, police said.

The police statement said officers “did not locate any struck objects”. Asked about the Comcast fibers, police spokesperson Kim Armstead emailed The Chronicle: “As of 3:30 a.m., officers have not observed or located anything hit.

The massive blackout came hours before the 3:40 p.m. kickoff of the San Francisco 49ers’ game against the Los Angeles Rams in the National Football Conference championship game, leaving thousands of 49ers fans without viewing options. Some connectivity was restored, but as of 6 p.m., up to 20,000 Oakland customers still had no service, Hammel said.

Comcast teams were working to get customers back online, she said.

“We couldn’t be more sorry and sincerely upset that this happened on a day like today,” Hammel said Sunday afternoon. “We are working as quickly as possible to complete all repairs and get people’s services back up and running.”

Comcast crews were able to tell from a “visual reference point” that the fibers had been severed by bullets, Hammel said. She could not provide additional information about the possible shooting.

“While it’s not completely rare, it’s pretty rare, but we know it when we see it,” Hammel said, noting that it wasn’t the first time Comcast fibers had been severed by bullets. Oakland.

Hammel said the outage only affected parts of Oakland. The number of customers without services is expected to fluctuate during repair efforts, she said.

Andy Picon is a writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected]: @andpicon