Cut line affects Jackson County
By Michael Brooks
On February 5 TISD internet went down at 6:30 p.m. due to a fibre cable cut in Dallas. TISD announced two thirds of their customers across Texas were without internet. The outage lasted until right about 6:30 the following morning.
The cause of the massive outage was a fibre line cut in Dallas. Almost every time an outage occurs due to a cut fibre line, it is caused by vandalism, is accidental, or is caused by nature such as a tornado or earthquake. TISD said the most common cause of the cable being cut is due to construction.
The fiber-optic internet cable, simply knows as fiber, is what allows high speed internet connectivity. As opposed to copper wires, high speed internet runs through fiber-optic cables. These fiber-optic cables make up what is called the backbone of the internet.
Fixing a minor cable can be time consuming, but when a major cable is cut, like the one in Dallas, it can take days to get back up and running.
With many options for internet services, people have many options on who they can choose. TISD is a popular choice for people who live out of the city limits, and even the top internet provider in Ganado, YK Communications, is not immune to internet outages, although they do their best to make sure that doesn’t happen.
“The internet fibre cables have networks that connect like roads,” Russell Kacer, President of YK Communications said. “The highway are the large, major cables and they split off to the smaller roadways that serve the more rural areas.
“When a major cable gets cut, it is like shutting off all eight lanes of the highway at one time.”
Some internet provider, like YKC, do their best to prevent their customers from losing service if a major line is cut by having available network redundancy lines. The redundancy lines is an additional open internet line that will provide a secondary path for internet service in case the primary line gets cut, or just goes down in general.
“We have more than one direction in and out of the community for our internet,” Kacer continued. “It is all part of a greater network.”
Kacer explained if you have cables that go from Ganado to Houston and also from Ganado to Corpus Christi, if something happens to the cable going to Houston, a redundancy line will automatically move YKC customers over to the Corpus Christi line. It is something that keeps customers happy but also for schools and especially hospitals it is of major importance.
If something happens and a fiber cable gets cut, fixing it is process that an average repair will be able to do.
“Fibre splicing requires a great deal of training,” Kacer said. “Every fiber is like a piece of hair and each fiber has to be reconnected with the same fiber on both sides of the cut.”
Kacer said straight cuts are difficult enough to fix but most times when a fibre cable gets cut, it is not a straight cut. “Imagine what the line would look like if someone drills through it,” Kacer said, explaining what the workers who deal with cut lines have to deal with.
The next time you are digging, make sure to check for a gas line, but also make sure to verify there are no internet fibre line where you are digging as well. Calling 811 will give you information on both.