Just a few minutes after the Lost Coast Outpost got the scoop about the cause of yesterday afternoon’s Internet weirdness, everything crashed hard for us — and for you too, I’m assuming. AT&T DSL and Verizon cell phones crashed in Eureka and all cell service went out in Ferndale, and they stayed out all night long. LoCO friend and Arcata Eye editor/publisher Kevin Hoover tells us that his Internet and cell phone were down overnight in Arcata. Land lines seem not to have been affected, but some people reported that they couldn’t dial long distance.
That’s what we know for certain, but we’re assuming that pretty much the whole county went dark. Friends of the LoCO reporting in from Willits tell us their Internet was down last night as well. Only just, perhaps, since it seems that whenever the fiber optic line is cut, it’s always Willits that somehow cuts it. This time a wildfire between Willits and Ukiah melted the glass and made it janky most of yesterday afternoon. We’re assuming that the Big Outage was due to AT&T crews cutting and resplicing the line. (Incidentally, it turns out the “small grass fire” reported by AT&T wasn’t so very small; Willits’ Ann Alumbaugh, mother of the LoCO, saw a helicopter bomb it.)
Was this the third major fiber optic outage or the fourth? One loses track. More importantly: Will it be the last? Construction on the long longed-for redundant fiber cable is underway and due to be completed by the end of the year. With any luck, these Humboldt County infoblackouts will come to seem as quaint and old-fashioned as the measles.
Addendum: Subscribers to Lost Coast Outpost Breaking News Text Message Alerts got the scoop about damage to the fiber optic line mere moments before everything went dark. Don’t you wish you had too? Subscribe.