Internet outage affects local businesses

Fiber cut near Chattanooga is the cause
Jan. 03, 2013 @ 12:24 AM

On Tuesday and Wednesday, a cut fiber line disrupted Internet and phone service for businesses throughout the Knoxville area, including Sevierville firms such as The Mountain Press and Atchley Funeral Home. The outage affected customers of Windstream Communications, a Little Rock, Ark.-based provider.

Service was disrupted beginning at 4:20 p.m. on Tuesday. It was restored at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

“Our folks worked through the night to try to identify the problem,” said Windstream spokesman Scott Morris. “They were able to track it down and reroute the traffic to restore service.”

The fiber cut occurred in Ooltewah, 19 miles east of Chattanooga. That fiber section is operated by a third party, Morris said. “The work was complicated by the fact that the damage that occurred was not on our network.”

Morris could not specify how many customers were affected. “It was a large number,” he said.

During the outage, Atchley Funeral Home co-owner D.J. Atchley said a backup plan helped his employees and customers stay connected. Phone calls were forwarded to an answering service, and the company used Verizon’s wireless data service.

His business was, Atchley said, “running just like we normally do.”

kburns@themountainpress.com