The Ottumwa Courier

September 9, 2013

Internet outage hits large area

By MARK NEWMAN
Courier staff writer

---- — OTTUMWA — High-speed became no speed during an unusual Internet outage in southeast Iowa Sunday and Monday.

A third-party fiber company that provides service to Mediacom and other Internet companies experienced an outage north of Oskaloosa. Though Mediacom doesn't own the cable, they did ask about the cause of the outage.

"[Sunday] night, around 8 p.m., there was an issue with third-party fiber we lease in a wooded area between Pella and Oskaloosa," said Phyllis Peters, a Medicom communications director.

The company sent a crew into one of the few wooded areas with aerial cable just around the time darkness fell. Because the area where the break occurred was not located at the site of a big construction project or other obvious location, for example, the crew had trouble visually locating the damage.

Meanwhile, customers in Ottumwa, Fairfield, Bloomfield, Albia, Centerville and Oskaloosa lost service.

"The impact was high-speed Internet," said Peters. "Mediacom video (TV) was not down, nor was voice (phone). We were able to use an alternate route. They were fine."

People with high-speed Internet from Mediacom or services from other companies using the downed lines noticed outages and recovery through the night and into the morning.

"There was no precise way to find [the damage]," Peters said. "They had very difficult time going [out there]. They found the damage, and it was repaired by the third-party fiber owners. They had that cut fixed … then found a second cut."

Most customers had their service restored by about 1:30 p.m. on Monday, she said.

"We regret it," she said. "It’s an unusual occurrence in nice weather."

— To see reporter Mark Newman's Twitter feed, go to @couriermark