SDN Blog

Two Fiber Cuts on Opposite Ends of SD Interrupt Communication Services in Multiple Communities

Posted on Thursday, March 03, 2011

March 3, 2011 - Landline, cell phone and other communication services to 14 southeastern South Dakota communities were interrupted this afternoon and early evening.

Two nearly simultaneous fiber cable cuts on opposite sides of the state caused the downtime. Services are now restored.

A water pipeline construction crew first cut SDN's fiber near Hot Springs just before four this afternoon. Eleven minutes later an electrical line carrying fiber along the Iowa border broke when contractors were evaluating ice damage from a recent storm. Both cuts were on the same fiber ring.

 "Fiber optic lines are laid in giant rings instead of straight shots so if there is a cut at any one spot, the technology re-routes the data in the opposite direction in a fraction of a second," said SDN Communications CEO Mark Shlanta. "But when there are two cuts at the same time on the same fiber ring that protection is lost and communication services are interrupted."

"Two simultaneous cuts are rare.  It's only the second time in more than 15 years for SDN," Shlanta said.