Oops, They Did it Again: Cut Fiber Optic Cable Causes Communication Outage

damaged fiber optic cable

On September 15, a contractor in the heart of Missouri damaged a fiber optic cable that left up to 100,000 residents and businesses without phone or data services. The cut fiber optic cable resulted in an Internet service communication outage that impacted AT&T, Charter and Big River customers from about 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. It also knocked out some mobile carriers.

In a simpler time and space, a cut cable meant you couldn’t call out and nobody could call in. No chatting with your pals about the weekend, no checking in with Mom. A cut cable made for a quiet day. But that’s not how it works for businesses today. Companies around the world depend on the Internet for daily operations. Employees and customers alike rely on it. When the Internet isn’t accessible, neither are cloud-based, mission critical business applications. And, employees can’t do anything. What’s a responsible business leader to do?

The answer is really simple.

Step 1

Step One: Get a second line from a second provider. Make sure this line doesn’t traverse the same circuits as your first provider. That way, when a cable is cut and you lose one carrier, the second carrier line can successfully handle your voice and data traffic and you stay in business for the day. Even customers in rural areas and smaller cities often have choices for a second carrier. Yellowpages.com lists no fewer than 30 Internet service providers for Fredericktown, Missouri, one of the communities impacted by the outage. 3G and 4G cellular service is also an option to consider for backup lines.

Step 2

Step Two: Install an appliance to provide automatic failover in case of emergency, like a cut fiber optic cable. The appliance constantly monitors each link’s health. The instant a problem is detected, all network traffic is diverted from the impacted line to the good line(s). If the problem happens at 2 a.m., you are really going to appreciate the automatic feature of that failover. Make sure the appliance also does load balancing, so you can take advantage of your second line under normal operating conditions to spread your data traffic among all your carrier connections and improve the overall efficiency of your network.

Step 3

Step Three: Sit back and relax. That’s what Sunstone Circuits in Mulino, Oregon, did when their fiber lines were cut. According to Mike Mulino, Sunstone’s network administrator, “During bridge construction in the area, contractors accidentally cut our fiber lines. Ecessa’s automatic failover worked as planned. Our operations were not interrupted.” That’s the point.

Business communication continuity is an area where Ecessa anticipates and eliminates problems for thousands of customers worldwide with its PowerLink, ClariLink and WANworX devices. If you want to eliminate the risk of a communication outage due to reliance on a single carrier, let’s talk. Email sales@ecessa.com, call us toll-free at 1.800.669.6242 or fill out the form below and we’ll call you right back.
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