By Joe Smillie
Peninsula Daily News
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Customers of Wave Broadband and CenturyLink both lost service for several hours in scattered areas across the North Olympic Peninsula beginning in Forks in the morning and extending to Port Townsend by the afternoon.
The Wave Broadband outage was caused by a truck towing a large boat clipping a major Kitsap Public Utility District fiber-optic cable in Bremerton, according to Wave spokesman Mark Peterson.
The Wave outage was directly because of the Bremerton incident, Peterson said, and was not related to the scattered outages reported in other areas.
CenturyLink representatives did not return calls requesting comment.
Service was rerouted to redundant networks, Peterson said.
He did not know when service was restored.
Peterson was unsure how many Wave customers were affected by the outage.
According to a website called www.downdetector.com, customers of both companies reported sporadic Internet outages in Washington state, Oregon and California.
Cellular phone networks were not affected.
Peterson said Thursday that anyone still having problems with Internet service should restart their modems or wireless routers. If that doesn’t work, they should phone the Wave customer service line at 866-928-3123.
During the outage, those with Voice over Internet Protocol systems were not able to reach emergency dispatchers to call 9-1-1.
JeffCom and PenCom operators reported calls from VoIP users who said they could not connect during the outage.
Noting the elderly population of the area, Bob Hamlin, director of Jefferson County’s emergency management department, advised residents who use VoIP networks to consider having alternative types of communication equipment on hand in case of future outages.
“We hope people research the available choices before signing on the dotted line for something that may not serve them in a time of need,” Hamlin said.
Representatives of Olympic Medical Center, Jefferson Healthcare in Port Townsend and Forks Community Hospital reported no major problems from the outage.
Sequim-Dungeness Valley Editor Joe Smillie can be reached at 360-681-2390, ext. 5052, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reporter Arwyn Rice contributed to this report.