A 75-year-old woman in Georgia has been charged after she allegedly cut off internet service to neighbouring Armenia by cutting fibre-optic cables with a shovel.

Internet service for Armenia crashed for hours on March 28 after the fibre-optic cables were severed.

A Georgian Interior Ministry spokesman said the woman had admitted damaging the cables while scavenging for copper in the village of Ksani.


Fibre optic cables to provide internet and telephone services are laid underground north of Nairobi in this file image. ((Antony Njuguna/Reuters))

"She found the cable while collecting scrap metal and cut it with a view to stealing it," Zura Gvenetadze told AFP news agency.

"Taking into account her advancing years, she has been released pending the end of the investigation and subsequent trial," Gvenetadze said.

The fibre-optic cables, owned by the Georgian Railway Telecom company, serve eastern Georgia, Armenia and Azerbaijan.

"I cannot understand how this lady managed to find and damage the cable," the head of the company's marketing department, Giorgi Ionatamishvili, also told the AFP. "It has robust protection and such incidents are extremely rare."