Rock Island reminds customers county-wide communications outage is tonight, April 12

  • Thu Apr 12th, 2018 4:40pm
  • News

Submitted by Rock Island

Tonight, April 12, from 9 p.m. to tomorrow, April 13, at 6 a.m., the county will experience a county-wide communications outage.

On April 12, a critical fiber-optic cable carrying all data and voice traffic from San Juan County will be cut and relocated just south of Anacortes, taking down communications for all providers in San Juan County for a period of up to nine hours. WAVE Broadband, the owner of the cable, will be shutting down and re-routing this fiber cable as they implement a traffic change in the area.

During this outage, Rock Island staff will send a limited amount of traffic via a microwave link from Mount Constitution to Bellingham. This is Rock Island’s backup link used when their mainland fiber path goes down, which includes a path for Emergency 911.

Rock Island staff will begin their network migration starting at 8 p.m., effectively limiting services at that time. They will be attempting to keep all of their digital voice customers up during the outage, along with data and phone for critical emergency and county services.

This will specifically affect the following Rock Island services:

  • LTE Fixed Wireless customers will stay online, but performance will be significantly rate-limited during the outage to allow Ooma digital phone and Wi-Fi calling from all carriers to pass.
  • Fiber customers will stay online, but only phone traffic from Ooma digital phone and T-Mobile Wi-Fi calling customers will be allowed to pass.
  • All data and phone traffic for critical county and emergency services will be allowed to pass as needed.
  • DSL customers will be offline during this outage for both data and phone.

Rock Island staff want their customers to know it is critical to stay off their internet and phones during this period to allow critical services to be delivered. Just a few internet users could interfere with 911 traffic and other vital services.

Staff hope the actual outage will be well within the nine-hour window, but given the nature of the proposed project, everyone should be prepared to see severely constrained services for most of that time.

Rock Island Communications provides modern, scalable and reliable Internet services to homes and businesses in San Juan County. They are a wholly-owned subsidiary of Orcas Power and Light Cooperative. For more information, visit