Updated 1:21 p.m.
MI-Connection Communications System internet customers have faced slowdowns over the past couple of days because of a damaged cable belonging to one of MI-Connection’s network providers. MI-Connection said it has “re-routed” traffic to alternate circuits, which is affecting streaming media, including YouTube, Netflix and other applications.
It wasn’t clear when full service might be restored. MI-Connection CEO David Auger said Wednesday morning that it could be another day before workers repair the damaged capable, which runs overhead across Lake Norman, near the N.C. 150 bridge. [On Wednesday afternoon, he said work was progressing and could be finished later in the day or Thursday.]
MI-Connection’s provider is XO Communications. The cable problem emerged about 1 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 12, when XO notified MI-Connection of the problem. XO apparently did not have a backup line or re-routing in place. XO contracts with DukeNet Communications of Charlotte for the fiber, and DukeNet sent a crew to begin repairs at 7 a.m. Sunday, Mr. Auger said.
The cable appeared to have been damaged sometime previously, possibly by a gunshot, he said. The trouble did not appear immediately, but probably emerged after the damaged section was exposed to rain. Mr. Auger said the entire section of cable across the lake must be replaced, and it’s a complex job because it crosses the water.
“DukeNet has a crew of 20 people working on this thing. The problem is that they can only work during the day safely,” he said.
MI-Connection lost about half its available network capacity, or bandwidth, in the incident. So customers may be seeing reduced speeds and poor performance of streaming media, especially during nighttime prime-time viewing hours. “Those customers who regular stream video, mostly through Netflix, are probably the most frustrated,” Mr. Auger said.
MI-Connection has announced anything yet, but Mr. Auger said officials are considering how they might compensate customers. “We are strongly considering and discussing at this current time how we compensate customers for their inconvenience,” he said.
The company also is studying the feasibility of adding a third network connection, which he said is not typical in the industry.
MI-Connection has about 10,300 internet customers in north Mecklenburg and south Iredell. The system is owned by the towns of Davidson and Mooresville.
Here’s an earlier update posted on MI-Connection’s website Tuesday:
MI-Connection’s Internet connectivity continues to be affected by the Duke Net damaged fiber. Duke Net is actively working on the repair. This is an abnormal problem due the location of the fiber which literally extends across Lake Norman parallel to the Highway 150 bridge.
Our Engineering department is in constant contact with Duke Net on the progress of the repair. In the meantime, to maintain continuity, Internet traffic has been re-routed to alternate circuits. Unfortunately, this re-routing affects bandwidth usage for applications such as video streaming and Netflix.
Duke Net has given us an estimated time of two days to complete restoration. We appreciate your patience.