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GCI outages caused by intentionally damaged cable

April 15th | Alaska Dispatch News Print this article   Email this article  

A GCI internet and wireless outage that frustrated customers around the state late Saturday and Sunday was caused by an intentionally damaged fiber-optic cable, the company said Sunday afternoon.

The cable break happened in Midtown Anchorage, said GCI spokeswoman Heather Handyside. The company is investigating how the line was damaged, she said.

Complaints about service outages around the state started late Saturday, but were not widespread.

"The fiber cable was partially broken," she said. "Some strands may have still been working, and temporary network routes took over."

But as user traffic got heavier Sunday morning, "the extent of the fiber break became apparent," Handyside said, with customers from the North Slope to Fairbanks and Anchorage reporting that they could get only spotty internet or none at all.

Service was restored by mid-afternoon Sunday, according to a company Facebook update; anyone still experiencing service issues was asked to call 800-800-4800 for help.

Technicians are now working to re-splice the broken lines together, Handyside said. For now, internet and wireless traffic is being routed through backup systems in place for emergencies.

Customers were not happy about the outages, with hundreds of comments flooding GCI's Facebook updates on the situation.

"When these things happen there's a constantly evolving situation," Handyside said. "We try to put out the best information we have to the public at the time."

 

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