Answers Sought After Extended Phone, Internet and Cable TV Outage on Kaua‘i

November 9, 2019, 6:38 AM HST · Updated November 9, 6:38 AM
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US Senator Brian Schatz of Hawai‘i is calling on telecom companies to provide answers on the islandwide phone, internet and cable TV outage that occurred last week on Kauaʻi.

According to reports, the outage lasted for at least a day for many residents. Many in the community voiced complaints about response and what Sen. Schatz referred to as the “failure” of service providers, “to provide quick, relevant information to residents about the outage, and more importantly, information on when services were expected to be restored.”

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Sen. Schatz, who serves as the lead Democrat on the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and the Internet said, “Hawai‘i is uniquely vulnerable to service disruptions due to the limited number of undersea cables supporting telecommunications for the islands. Companies serving Hawai‘i must account for these challenges and ensure that the infrastructure they count upon to deliver service is reliable.”

In his letter to service providers Spectrum, Verizon, and CenturyLink, a co-owner of the fiber-optic cable line that reportedly caused the outage, according to Schatz, he requested a detailed account of “what occurred, why information was not immediately communicated to residents, and why it took a prolonged period of time to restore service.”

“The outages on Kauaʻi are a good example of how failed infrastructure that has not been made redundant can disrupt the lives and businesses of Hawai‘i residents. I am particularly concerned that the outage appears to have contributed to interruptions of 911 services, which could have had potentially serious consequences,” Schatz said.

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