California Fiber optics question

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emt_531

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So a few days ago, most of the central San Joaquin Valleys cell phone systems were interrupted by a fiber optics "construction" error near Sanger. Are we really that vulnerable, that one line controls the South Valley?
 

Gezelle007

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Isn't surprising.. awhile back, someone stole fiber optic cable in Washington, and managed to interrupt 911 service for Embark customers in something like the entire States of Washington, Idaho, and Oregon. I can't find the stories on it, but it was a big deal..
 

K6CDO

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Depends on the carrier who owns the fiber, the population density of the area, and the geographic area of the state. Recently a small (<100 acre) brush fire in San Diego county caused an outage of one carrier's particular type of data services, which took some bank ATMs and governmental (leased) data services in a multi-hundred square mile area off line for about 18 hours due to burned fiber - without disrupting voice telephone or other data services in that same suburban area.
 

lbfd09

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So a few days ago, most of the central San Joaquin Valleys cell phone systems were interrupted by a fiber optics "construction" error near Sanger. Are we really that vulnerable, that one line controls the South Valley?
About 4 years ago a fiber was severed near Blosom Hill and 101 in the San Jose area. Knocked out the entire South Santa Clara County cell, land line and FIOS service. This also affected some remote islands in Santa Cruz County. Some 72 hours were spent manning contact points to provide the residents a way to "request" 9-1-1 services. It took just over a week to restore service back to normal.

Depending upon the size-bandwidth of the fiber and entire city can have all of it's services carried by the one fiber. One would think the telephone companies would have redundancy built in. Oh - this is not regulated service like in the POTs lines, so much for deregulation.

Is this the same phone company that lost the server that handled its dispatching, only to switch to a back up server in the computer next to the primary server, both under water in the basement that was flooded by a water main break?
 
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n5ims

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Fiber circuits used to be installed as a ring so if there was damage to a single section of the fiber the connection still worked (the undamaged section would carry the connection back to the destination). Carriers soon realized that they could double the amount of fiber connections if they changed from a ring to a point-to-point connection. Now, that fault tolerance is gone and a single cut can take out the circuit.

Some companies took the ring very seriously (for our building, a company installed the fiber so it entered the building on the south side and exited on the north side), while others cut a few corners (also on our building, another company ran both halves of the ring on a single feed from their ring into our building). The first company's connection survived a break when an irrigation company cut the fiber when laying a sprinker line, the second company's connection failed totally when their line was cut. Why both lines were within range of an irrigation company's ditch witch is a valid question. The company with the real ring got much more of our business after that incident than the other company due to the uninterrupted service.
 

ScannerDude244

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About 4 years ago a fiber was severed near Blosom Hill and 101 in the San Jose area. Knocked out the entire South Santa Clara County cell, land line and FIOS service. This also affected some remote islands in Santa Cruz County. Some 72 hours were spent manning contact points to provide the residents a way to "request" 9-1-1 services. It took just over a week to restore service back to normal.

Depending upon the size-bandwidth of the fiber and entire city can have all of it's services carried by the one fiber. One would think the telephone companies would have redundancy built in. Oh - this is not regulated service like in the POTs lines, so much for deregulation.

Is this the same phone company that lost the server that handled its dispatching, only to switch to a back up server in the computer next to the primary server, both under water in the basement that was flooded by a water main break?
I remember that we were also had no cell and 911 was out down here Monterey county
 

RobVallejo

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About 4 years ago a fiber was severed near Blosom Hill and 101 in the San Jose area. Knocked out the entire South Santa Clara County cell, land line and FIOS service. This also affected some remote islands in Santa Cruz County. Some 72 hours were spent manning contact points to provide the residents a way to "request" 9-1-1 services. It took just over a week to restore service back to normal.

Depending upon the size-bandwidth of the fiber and entire city can have all of it's services carried by the one fiber. One would think the telephone companies would have redundancy built in. Oh - this is not regulated service like in the POTs lines, so much for deregulation.

Is this the same phone company that lost the server that handled its dispatching, only to switch to a back up server in the computer next to the primary server, both under water in the basement that was flooded by a water main break?
Was the culprit ever identified? I remember thinking at the time that this could be a test run for a terrorist attack, though I know that is very unlikely.
 

lbfd09

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Was the culprit ever identified? I remember thinking at the time that this could be a test run for a terrorist attack, though I know that is very unlikely.
I don't think so - it was more seriously considered a renigade union tactic - but it affected Verizon more than it did ATT. But yes it did affect pocket in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties. I think there were like 6 or 7 cables cut but only one carries the majority of the traffic.

There were 2 or 3, maybe 4 other similar events running all the way up the peninsula within a short period of this as well as the slow going union talks in Texas at the same time.
 

SCPD

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I don't think so - it was more seriously considered a renigade union tactic - but it affected Verizon more than it did ATT. But yes it did affect pocket in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties. I think there were like 6 or 7 cables cut but only one carries the majority of the traffic.

There were 2 or 3, maybe 4 other similar events running all the way up the peninsula within a short period of this as well as the slow going union talks in Texas at the same time.
Mono and Inyo Counties are especially problematic as there is no redundancy. One line from Victorville is all there is. DWP and other construction on 395 in the Johannesburg area south of Ridgecrest has brought down the 911 system in both counties, in one case more than 20 hours and in the other cases 4-12 hours. . A second line in a different location would be expensive so I think we now have a second cable in some areas of southern Inyo but I'm not sure. A line, either microwave or hard line, does not exist to tie Mono and Inyo to the Reno/Carson City area. The U.S. Forest Service, Toiyabe National Forest built their microwave electronic site linking with about a dozen or more circuits for the Mono County Sheriff's Department in case all lines went down in the south.

The phone system, including cell, will sometimes crash in Mammoth. This is usually on a winter weekend when a storm requires closing 203 and 395 exiting town. All of the 35,000 visitors in town on a big weekend or during the Christmas to New Year holiday attempt to use the systems all at once. I've had occasions where I could not get a dial tone on my home phones. If you think others parts of California have a problem, you should keep the eastern Sierra in mind.
 

WayneH

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So a few days ago, most of the central San Joaquin Valleys cell phone systems were interrupted by a fiber optics "construction" error near Sanger. Are we really that vulnerable, that one line controls the South Valley?
I'd like to know more details because I would have heard about it if it affected cell service to that degree. I know Verizon has been working fine. The big three all have their own fiber backbones so severing isn't necessarily going to affect another. In some situations AT&T is used by other carriers for short-haul sections.

Often fiber ring networks run in the same conduit defeating the purpose. I believe that was one of the issues that affected San Jose.
 

emt_531

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WayneH

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They really dont say a whole lot, but I was talking to friends online that live in several of those cities and they confirmed the cell phone outage.....
Ah ha, not too big of an area and I don't go down that far so that figures.

As carrier move more toward the need for more bandwidth the need for fiber to the site occurs. In some cases that's good (for people who maintain them) and in other situations simply having one issue with the fiber (backhoe fade, card failures, etc) and you have more than just a few T-1's out of service. Fiber is not as reliable as most people think it is; at least in rural to semi-suburban areas. I don't think AT&T really has their sh* together yet for supplying metro and local fiber runs.
 

RadioGuy1951

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I don't think so - it was more seriously considered a renigade union tactic - but it affected Verizon more than it did ATT. But yes it did affect pocket in Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties. I think there were like 6 or 7 cables cut but only one carries the majority of the traffic.

There were 2 or 3, maybe 4 other similar events running all the way up the peninsula within a short period of this as well as the slow going union talks in Texas at the same time.

There was also a major copper line theft in the San Carlos area a few years ago, but I can't remember the exact timing...it knocked out several types of service up and down the penninsula...the theft occured in SEVERAL of the underground vaults, leading some to suspect it wasn't casual theives that did the deed...whomever it was obviously had LOTS of time to do this, due to the long runs of wires pulled out...

How could this overnight theft be done undetected until hours later...???

We're taking several hundred feet of copper wires...you'd need some method of pulling and then loading up such an amount...was it an "inside job with utility vehicles that nobody would question...???

Probably not, yet somebody likely saw something going on...

You'd think the homeland security folks would take an interest in this...

Maybe it's time for special security bolts on vaults & manhole covers...
 

RadioGuy1951

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Mono and Inyo Counties are especially problematic as there is no redundancy. One line from Victorville is all there is. DWP and other construction on 395 in the Johannesburg area south of Ridgecrest has brought down the 911 system in both counties, in one case more than 20 hours and in the other cases 4-12 hours. . A second line in a different location would be expensive

I wonder if a 2nd via via the mild Walker Pass route would be feasable...???


so I think we now have a second cable in some areas of southern Inyo but I'm not sure. A line, either microwave or hard line, does not exist to tie Mono and Inyo to the Reno/Carson City area.


I'm amazed at how fast existing (working) infrastructure is abandoned...I think a 2nd comms link of ANY kind to Carson City would be prudent...

I heard a Ham in Tonopah hitting the ham repeater in Bishop...a little scratchy but 100% copy...

(that same ham repeater got me good car repair shop advice in Bishop using my old Kenwood TR2500 - I used my scanner to find active 2m repeaters, waiting for a morse code ID)...

The U.S. Forest Service, Toiyabe National Forest built their microwave electronic site linking with about a dozen or more circuits for the Mono County Sheriff's Department in case all lines went down in the south.
And their self contained comms system is probably well designed to fit USFS needs, but are they also vulnerable in case something "down south" happens...???

The phone system, including cell, will sometimes crash in Mammoth. This is usually on a winter weekend when a storm requires closing 203 and 395 exiting town. All of the 35,000 visitors in town on a big weekend or during the Christmas to New Year holiday attempt to use the systems all at once. I've had occasions where I could not get a dial tone on my home phones. If you think others parts of California have a problem, you should keep the eastern Sierra in mind.
NW Calif isn't much better...there ARE multiple fiber lines going up US Hwy 101, but they all take the same route, usually on the same poles...and we've had several outages "down south" that have killed all comms using that service (I think the primary one is ATT)...and more often that not it's construction of some kind...

Do these fiber lines have a metal shield or jacket that can be picked up by a metal detector (gas lines have a wire buried with it for location detection)...??? Sure are a lot of "construction accidents"...!!!

A local wireless internet ISP, 101NetLink, is spearheading a second fiber line going east...I think to Red Bluff via Cal Hwy 36...

Our local telco (Verizon, nee GTE, nee Continental) still uses microwave to link the telco CO's (Central Office's) of the towns in this area together...even the towns along US Hwy 101...but I suspect there are other circuits because it's my understanding that 911 still works when the microwave links are down (usually heavy storms or snow on Cahto Peak, which means LOCAL telco service ONLY, NO out of town calls)...and the Howard Forest 911 center is south of Willits on top of Ridgewood Summit with microwave already in use, so it's a logical spot for a microwave relay AND a fiber port...

Small far flung town in this region usually do NOT have any copper wires going between towns, hence the microwave links...so maybe the public service agency 911 call centers are using a few of the fiber optic circuits...??? This would correlate with 911 being partially knocked out when a firbe optic cable was damaged down in Vallejo a few years ago...

Yet, local access (ports) on the firber optics is non existant...years ago several cities INSISTED on language in ROW (Right Of Way) contracts to provide for internet access as the new fangled fiber optic cables were run through the countryside going to Pt Arena & other nearby places where the undersea cables depart, yet bypassing the local communities they traverse through...these were hard fought legal battles...Pt Arena is popular for undersea cables because it's the closest geographical point to Asia...there's THREE fiber optic cables running from Ukiah to Boonville to Pt Area just on the Cal Hey 253 route...other fiber optic ables run from Cloverdale to Stewarts Pt...

So it's still about profit versus useful service, and until when and IF the folks in tall buildings determine a line from Carson down US Hwy 395 is profitable, it won't happen...

I think a line could be run via Lake Isabella & Walker Pass and tie in near Olancha...Are there any fiber lines running over Tehachipi...???

I think that part of that profit analysis that the comms companies look at is how many persons / businesses in our sparse area's have ANY other means, such as satellites (Hughes or WildBlue)...and even any local wireless outfits need a headend of some kind...so maybe the comm company brass see satellite service covering some needs and don't see a profit in running fiber...and don't get me wrong, I certainly don't like many of the policies of the big comm companies, and think some deserve to be tarred & feathered, but until some other factor that is bigger than profit motive arises, it won't happen...so maybe govt comms might add to the desirability & ability to make it happen...leased lines...local wireless ISP data exchanges...local cable tv operators...???

Of course, putting all our eggs in a single (Fiber) basket will make it vulnerable to MORE types of services impacted over a wider area when a backhow cuts a cable 200 miles away...and as we've seen, BANKS are now totally dependant on constant high bitrate comms, and we're screwed when they go down...it's already quite fragile...how many times have you been told "I'm sorry, the computers are a little slow today"...

I think that with SO much vital data comms taking place that TRIPLE redundancy is the smart way to go, because when you can't fill your gas tank, buy groceries, can't get dial tone, or check your email, it's gonna hurt in this age of electronic money, and we have over 30 million people in California that will be very unhappy if there is a cascade effect...

And another thing to consider...Broadcasters are now relying more and more on ISP signal delivery from the studio to their transmitters, and IF they're abandoned their RF & Microwave STL (Studio-Transmitter-Link) equipment and FCC licenses, then they also go dark during internet outages...

Keep yer 2m radios dusted off...
 
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SCPD

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A project called "Internet 395" or some such has been funded by the federal government. The project includes the installation fiber optic cable from somewhere in the south, up through Inyo and Mono Counties to Carson City, Nevada. It will be placed in a different location than existing line as well as on a new route from Bridgeport north into Nevada where there is no connection at present;, microwave, copper or fiber.

It is more important to put the redundancy in from the north as the county seat of Mono County, Bridgeport, is in the north and any disruption in service to the south, be that Mono or Inyo County, can be very disruptive. This project will bring high speed internet to areas that presently have DSL (Mammoth only I believe) and to the majority of Mono County that only has dial up connection at present. Construction of the project should start next year. I'm not sure who is going to operate the line when it is completed. I would imagine it would be Verizon, but I'm not sure.

The fiber optic line has also been cut in a couple of Owens Valley locations. A line over Walker pass has no advantage over a line coming up from the Mojave/Lancaster area. I don't know it there is a line over Tehachapi Pass. Even more important is whether a line exists up to Lake Isabella, a route required if a line over Walker Pass is considered.
 
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