Oceanic Time Warner service disruption affects Maui, Molokai, Lanai and Big Island

July 27, 2010, 7:52 AM HST · Updated July 27, 4:21 PM
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By Wendy Osher  (Update: 3:30 p.m. 7/27/10)

Video service to Oceanic Time Warner Cable customers was back up and running for most of Maui by 2:46 Tuesday afternoon.  Company officials say there are still some areas with spotty internet connectivity though, and efforts to fully restore service continues.  The service outage was experienced statewide from 1:10 a.m. after a main fiber optic line connecting Maui to Oahu was cut just south of Lanai in the Molokai Channel.  Oceanic officials say they are using alternate fiber to provide service; and that the current fix is only temporary.  While the source of the problem has been isolated, it is still unclear what caused the failure.  Speculation has pointed toward possible water in the mainline, but that has not been confirmed.  Maui County and the Big Island experienced the longest interruption of service.  Much of the phone and internet issues on Maui were resolved by mid-morning.  As of 3:30 p.m., the company’s service status update indicated that there were still interruptions with some cable tv services and on-demand channels in Hilo, Kona, Maui, Molokai and Lanai. 

By Wendy Osher  (Update: 11:30 a.m. 7/27/10)

A break in a fiber cable overnight resulted in service disruptions across the state for Oceanic Time Warner Cable customers.  Between 9:30 and 10:30 a.m., much of the island of Maui, Molokai, Lanai and the Big Island was being brought back online with phone and internet service, but television service was not expected to be fully restored until a later time. 

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Company Vice President of Operations, Norman Santos said the problem originated from a broken fiber line located in the Molokai Channel just south of the island of Lanai in about 3000 feet of water.  That’s about 40 miles from Kihei and 34 miles from the island of Oahu.  The line serves as the main link between Maui and Oahu.  Santos called the incident “a rarest of rare situations.”  He could not say what caused the break in the line, but said a ship was sent out to pull the line from the ocean for repairs. 

OTWC’s General Manager on Maui, Rick Colletto, provided us with the following statement:

“Oceanic Time Warner Cable experienced a full cable outage due to a severed undersea fiber optic cable serving Maui, Lanai, Molokai and the Big Island.  This break occurred somewhere in the Molokai Channel at approximately 1:10 a.m.  All Oceanic services have been affected and other companies using this undersea fiber as well.  Oceanic is working to restore data and internet services via direct connect with its L.A. system on the West Coast.  Alternatives for cable video services are being worked on to restore television service to Oceanic customers.  There is no specific timeline for restoration of these television services.  Internet and data services should be available, however speeds will be slower than normal.” 

Oceanic Time Warner Cable customers who continue to experience internet connectivity problems should first try to reboot their cable modems before requesting assistance through the company’s service center.   

Maui was getting only 18-19 cable television channels through Oceanic as of 9 o’clock this morning, none of them Oahu network stations. 

Customers who continue to experience problems with internet or phone service can get status updates by calling (808) 625-8282 or visiting the system status update site online at:  http://www.aroundhawaii.com/support/cable_status/

Hawaiian Telcom Services Are Not Affected by Undersea Cable Cut Phone and Internet Services Remain Stable Statewide:

Hawaiian Telcom services have not been affected by an undersea cable cut that has reportedly disrupted communication and video services from other providers since early this morning.

“To assist residents and businesses of Hawaii Island, Maui, Molokai and Lanai whose communication services have been disrupted, Hawaiian Telcom has committed to making a portion of its own interisland fiber optic cable network available on loan to the affected provider during the cable repair process,” said Hawaiian Telcom President and CEO Eric Yeaman.  

(Update: 7:52 a.m. 7/27/10)

Oceanic Time Warner Cable continues to deal with island-wide service disruptions on Maui, Molokai, Lanai and the Big Island.  There is no estimated time on when service will be restored.

The widespread outage was reported shortly after midnight and initially included island wide disruptions for Maui County and Big Island as well as high speed internet and home phone service disruptions on Kauai and Oahu.  All services on Kauai and Oahu are now working properly according to an update issued at 7:40 a.m.

The company has not yet named the cause of the disruption, but said service outages continue on Maui and the Big Island.  System status updates are available by calling (808) 625-8282 or visiting the system status update site online at:  http://www.aroundhawaii.com/support/cable_status/

The county of Maui is among the customers affected by the service disruption.  Since about 1 a.m., County of Maui offices with phone numbers that have the 270 prefix have been unable to receive or make phone calls.  That includes all offices located at the county of Maui building in Wailuku, DMVL and Real Property Tax offices at the Maui Mall Service Center, County offices located at One Main Plaza, and the administrative offices of the Wailuku Police Station and fire department.

The 911 emergency line is NOT affected, however, residential and business phone customers are advised that their phone lines may be affected, preventing them from making outgoing calls.  (Residents should check their phones to ensure they’re working in case they need to make a 911 call—that will help avoid them finding out in the midst of an emergency)

Again, there is no estimated time on when service will be restored.

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