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Weird telecommunications/power outage in Seattle - Journal of Omnifarious

Jul. 30th, 2009

06:15 am - Weird telecommunications/power outage in Seattle

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Date:July 31st, 2009 05:14 pm (UTC)
I asked my husband, who works at the Disaster Recovery department at Qwest, and last night he wrote back to me:

"Last night was not good. At least one CO overheated and was dropping customers. And that was only on our network. All of the equipment that handles that traffic is heat sensitive, and local companies are not really prepared or equipped to deal with triple digit heat here. Local HVAC providers were swamped responding to problems, and equipment was running at loads far exceeding what individual setups were designed for. The COs in Phoenix could shrug these temps off, but not here. Loss of power doesn't help either. Much like happened during the windstorms a few years ago, generators at smaller sites like some towers suffered brownouts long enough that they ran out of fuel and were at the mercy of the local power grids. And generators weren'tmeant for this either. We had one burn up in Tacoma last night. We kept the phones up there, but it was a close thing.

That explain anything?"
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Date:July 31st, 2009 09:32 pm (UTC)



It does. It explains the weird nature of the outage.

For example, I couldn't make calls with my cell phone for 10s of minutes before it lost signal. So I assume they just turned off the towers because they couldn't complete calls until something farther up the chain was fixed.

And it explains why I could get a DSL signal from Qwest but couldn't actually send packets anywhere as well.

Edited at 2009-07-31 09:33 pm (UTC)
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