What’s It Like to Lose the Internet for Six-Plus Hours?
• Some 310 and 805 Areas Knocked Out
BY ANNE SOBLE
BY ANNE SOBLE
Many Malibu customers of Verizon of California for whom FiOS service is not yet available for technical reasons—this includes local businesses in multi-unit complexes, such as the Malibu Surfside News—found themselves without high-speed Internet and some cellular access from 10:30 a.m. to about 4:45 p.m. on Monday.
Land lines for these same customers largely remained operable during the six-plus hour outage.
Verizon spokespersons indicated that damaged fiber optic cable caused the major service interruption, which encompassed sizable sections of Port Hueneme, Oxnard and Camarillo in Ventura County, in addition to the large swath of western Malibu and points east in Los Angeles County.
The company reportedly found the problem after an hour of sleuthing. A critical segment of cable was apparently damaged during construction work at a project site in Camarillo. Verizon customer service was telling callers who were able to get past the non-stop busy signal that service was expected to be restored by 8 p.m. Eastern Time. Repair crews bested that timetable by about 20 minutes.
The outage was so widespread in parts of Ventura County that residents with police or fire emergencies were unable to get through on 911 and were being urged to go directly to the nearest police or fire station to report an emergency.
The cities of Oxnard and Santa Paula were able to temporarily established emergency cellular telephone lines for police, fire and ambulance calls in what was described as an exemplary example of how to respond to a major emergency situation.
Also reacting as if the situation occurred during a red flag wildfire alert, the Ventura County fire department spread crews out in the field. Winds remained negligible throughout the incident.