ALERT: County-Wide Communications Blackout Tonight at 9PM

ALERT: County-Wide Communications Blackout Tonight at 9PM

14:58 12 April in Service Updates

Tonight from 9:00 pm to tomorrow morning at 6:00 am, the county is going to experience a county-wide communications outage. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018: A critical fiber-optic cable carrying all data and voice traffic from San Juan County is going to be cut and relocated just south of Anacortes, taking down communications for ALL providers in San Juan County for a period of up to 9 hours (9:00 pm tonight to 6:00 am tomorrow). WAVE Broadband, the owner of the cable, will be shutting down and re-routing this fiber cable as they implement a traffic change in the area.

During this outage, Rock Island will be sending a limited amount of traffic via a microwave link from Mt. Constitution to Bellingham (this is Rock Island’s backup link used when their mainland fiber path goes down, which includes a path for Emergency 911).

Rock Island will begin their network migration starting at 8:00 pm, effectively limiting services at that time. They will be attempting to keep all of their digital voice customers up during the outage, along with data and phone for critical emergency and county services.

This will specifically affect the following Rock Island services:

  • LTE Fixed Wireless customers will stay online, but performance will be significantly rate-limited during the outage to allow Ooma digital phone and Wi-Fi calling from all carriers to pass
  • Fiber customers will stay online, but only phone traffic from Ooma digital phone and T-Mobile Wi-Fi calling customers will be allowed to pass
  • All data and phone traffic for critical county and emergency services will be allowed to pass as needed
  • DSL customers will be offline during this outage

Rock Island wants their customers to know it is critical to stay off their Internet during this period, and limit cell phone usage to phone calls only to allow critical services to be delivered. Just a few Internet users could interfere with 911 traffic and other vital services.

We hope the actual outage will be well within the 9-hour window, but given the nature of the proposed project, we should all be prepared to see severely constrained services for most of the outage window.