Faulty Fiber Optic Cable Leads to Several Outages

Faulty Fiber Optic Cable Leads to Several Outages

SWEETWATER COUNTY — Several outages across Sweetwater County on Wednesday were discovered to be caused by a fiber optic line that had been severed somewhere between Rock Springs and the western side of the state.

SweetwaterNOW first received confirmation of a major internet and cell service outage in Southwest Wyoming at approximately 10AM Wednesday. After receiving several tips from around the county, it was determined that many local facilities were without communications based on internet connectivity and several cell phone carriers were experiencing outages.

Memorial Hospital of Sweetwater County, schools from around the county, and most concerning were many of the law enforcement and emergency medical service providers in the area were without 911 access for parts of Wednesday. Outside of Sweetwater County, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department also reported having issues with 911 services, and social media posts from as far away as Eastern Idaho echoed the same.

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Lumen Technologies Global Network Map Through Wyoming via Lumen.com

Lumen Technologies, a multinational technology company with backbone network assets across the world, confirmed with customers Wednesday afternoon that the fiber optic line had been severed. Updates sent to local law enforcement detailed the events throughout the day as Lumen worked to repair a damaged/faulty portion of fiber optic cable between the two cities. Lumen operates a total of four networks across Sweetwater County that carry data from Salt Lake City to Cheyenne and vice versa.

8:00 AM (approx.)
Lumen Network Operations Center was made aware of a service impact in Rock Springs impacting several clients.
8:31 AM – 8:40AM (approx.)
Operators are dispatched and a fiber fault was detected. A splice team is called to the scene.
9:00 AM -1:00PM
Teams attempted to splice the damaged cable but there was not enough slack in the line to successfully splice the cables.
3:00 PM
Splicing commenced after sufficient cable had been brought to the site of the damaged cable to successfully marry the two ends. A timeline of 8:00PM for restoration of services is provided.
6:45 PM
Splicing is completed and service returns to normal.

It is not known at this time what caused the damage to the cable.