Posted on 31 August 2011.
Updated 6:01 p.m.
A utility crew installing a telephone pole in northwest Charlotte accidentally cut a fiber-optic cable Wednesday morning, affecting internet and telephone services for customers of Mooresville-based MI-Connection Communications System.
The sliced fiber-optic lines knocked out two of MI-Connection’s three main connections to the Internet around 8:50 a.m. The company was able to re-route service to its remaining circuit, and service was restored to business data and telephone customers. Internet access also was restored for some customers, though with all the company’s traffic on a single line, service was spotty Wednesday afternoon.
Alan Hall, MI-Connection’s general manager, said at 6 p.m., most residential customers should have internet access this evening, though the cable may not be fully repaired until Thursday morning.
He said the problem began with a cable in a northwest Charlotte neighborhood, on Roadway Drive. The cut affected data lines operated by DukeNet Communications and Windstream, two companies that provide connectivity to MI-Connection.
“We have been told by DukeNet that somebody was digging to put in a new pole in Charlotte, and hit a major fiber line, next to a 12-inch gas line,” Mr. Hall said. As of 6 p.m., a repair crew was working to re-splice the cut fiber, which is 6 feet below ground, he said.
Mr. Hall said MI-Connection may not be the only communications company affected.
A person in DukeNet’s Network Operations Center declined to comment when contacted Wednesday afternoon.
A spokesman for Time Warner Cable said his company had “not heard about any fiber cuts. Our network has not been affected.”
MI-Connection working to restore data service
Updated 4:35 p.m.
Two of three high-speed data lines serving MI-Connection Communications System failed Wednesday morning around 9:30, cutting telephone and internet service for thousands of customers in the Lake Norman area. MI-Connection officials said vendors that supply the lines are blaming the outage on a cut fiber-optic line.
The outage happened around 8:50 a.m., affecting users throughout the company’s territory in south Iredell and north Mecklenburg counties. The data lines are not part of MI-Connection’s network, but are provided by outside vendors, MI-Connection said.
MI-Connection partially restored service by re-routing all its traffic to the remaining circuit, though some residential customers were still without internet access this afternoon. By early afternoon, service had been restored to business customers.
At 12:55 p.m., MI-Connection General Manager Alan Hall said the source of the problem appears to be a cut fiber-optic line that links the company to the internet. He wasn’t sure where the cut happened, but said it was affecting traffic onto the internet for a variety of companies, including Windstream and DukeNet, which connect the company to network providers XL Communications and Level 3 Communications.
“We have three wholesale transports (data lines) to the internet from our system. One is up, the others are down,” Mr. Hall said at around 10:25 a.m. “It doesn’t appear to be anything in our equipment.”
Because MI-Connection’s phone service relies on internet connections, instead of standard phone lines, it was also affected. But the phone service appeared to be restored by 10:20 a.m. Connections between the company’s Mooresville headquarters and Bristol Virginia Utilities, its third-party manager in Bristol, Va., also were restored.
Mr. Hall had no estimate of when internet service might be working again.
MI-Connection is owned by the towns of Davidson and Mooresville, and provides internet, phone and cable TV to about 14,200 customers in the Lake Norman area.
It wasn’t clear if Wednesday’s fiber-optic line cut affected any other providers in the area. A Time Warner Cable spokesman said his company had “not heard about any fiber cuts. Our network has not been affected.”
MI-Connection phones and Internet down
Posted 9:57 AM
Telephone and internet service from MI-Connection Communications System was out this morning for an unknown number of customers. Telephone lines to tech support also were busy. We’re looking into the issue and will post information as soon as we have it.
It wasn’t clear if the problem was affecting the entire system in the Lake Norman area. DavidsonNews.net and CorneliusNews.net has received multiple reports from users in Davidson and Cornelius about the outage.
MI-CONNECTION PRESS RELEASE
The following press release was issued by MI-Connection around 2 p.m.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 31, 2011
MI-Connection working to restore Internet outage
VPN, business customers already back online
MOORESVILLE, N.C. – MI-Connection staff and officials are working hard this morning to get Internet service back online for residential customers after a third-party Internet circuit provider discovered that a fiber cut led to a system-wide outage of Internet and voice services this morning.
A MI-Connection official said Wednesday that at 8:50 this morning, two Internet circuits went down, which interrupted all residential and business Internet service, as well as the Virtual Private Network (VPN) between MI-Connection and Bristol Virginia Utilities, the vendor that currently manages the system. Video services have not been affected.
Staff quickly checked local equipment and confirmed that there were no physical issues on MI-Connection’s end.
Staff then took measures to bring up local service as quickly as possible, including bringing up an inactive Internet feed which restored all residential and business voice services by 10:20 a.m. and which enabled connectivity between MI-Connection and Bristol. Business Internet was restored for most customers by 10:50 a.m.
Service has not yet been restored, however, for residential Internet customers, but MI-Connection officials received confirmation at around noon from the third-party Internet circuit provider that it had experienced a fiber cut and is working to restore service. The provider does not yet have an estimated time of completion.
“All hands are on deck to make sure we’re up and running as quickly as possible,” said a company official.