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Internet outage strikes area

by JEFF SELLE/Staff writer
| April 2, 2014 9:00 PM

COEUR d'ALENE - An Internet outage occurred for several hours on Tuesday after a fiber optic line was cut near Stateline.

The local Frontier Communications office had a voice message recorded on its main telephone line that said one of its fiber optic lines was cut, and it would take a few hours to repair.

Frontier did not return phone messages from The Press requesting additional information.

Mike Kennedy, president of Intermax, said his customers were largely unaffected by the outage because the Intermax network switched over to redundant and diverse path connections. His customers did suffer a small unrelated outage later in the day.

He said at least two major service providers were impacted by the fiber cut, but details were hard to come by because a lot of the fiber network is shared.

"It usually takes a couple of days to sort out all of those details," he said.

Kennedy heard from an industry source that the cut occurred just west of Beck Road on Seltice Way near Stateline. All DSL service appeared to be impacted, he said.

He said ZAYO, a national Internet service provider which owns some of the regional fiber optic network was also impacted. ZAYO leases some of its broadband to other providers in the area.

"Intermax also uses this upstream provider," Kennedy said. "But because we have invested in separate fiber and private microwave connections and carry multiple diverse routes to get our Internet feeds, our customers were almost completely unaffected."

There are, he said, many ways his company can have problems as well.

"We resell DSL to two of our customers, but that is only two out of over 3,000 customers," Kennedy continued.

Fiber optic networks have largely replaced copper wire or coaxial communication networks for the last 10 years as the core transmission vehicle to carry large amounts of data with high speeds and low latency.

This is important for businesses whose transactional needs often include virtual private networks, VoIP, and large video transmissions. Intermax is the only carrier in the region with such a redundant network, he added.