Thursday, May 30

Wednesday’s internet outage linked to fiber lines damaged by construction crews

Underground fiber line – Stock Photo (Christian Schwier / Adobe Stock)

ASHEBORO — An internet outage on Wednesday, affecting a large portion of Randolph County, has been linked to fiber lines damaged by construction crews.

At about 3 p.m. Wednesday, an internet outage began to affect large parts of Randolph County. By 6 p.m., Randolph County Emergency Services had posted to Facebook that it was experiencing a “degradation in the phone and internet services affecting Brightspeed and AT&T customers.” The same outage also affected internet and telephone services at the Randolph County Sheriff’s Office, which also notified the public through social media.

Randolph News Now learned Thursday the outage was related to damage to two fiber lines, owned and operated by Brightspeed, that were cut during unrelated construction work in both Pittsboro and Southern Pines.

“While we have implemented redundancy in our network to help mitigate outages, this was a unique event,” said Brightspeed in an email. “Hours after the Pittsboro line cut, while repair was underway, we learned of the Southern Pines line damage that impacted the redundancy in our network.”

The fiber lines provide internet service to many different customers.

“In general, our fiber lines help provide connectivity to homes, small businesses, municipalities, larger enterprises and wireless towers used by national wireless carriers,” Brightspeed added. “This is something that is common in our industry. So, when fiber lines are cut, it is not uncommon that the resulting outage impacts wireline and wireless customers.”

Brightspeed says service to most of the impacted customers was restored by 10:30 p.m. Wednesday and there remains “a very small number of customers” still impacted which they are actively working to complete repairs as of late Thursday afternoon.