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Upper Peninsula problem

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kirkman123

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My scanner seems to be working properly, but Alltel cellphone service is "out" in the UP, most of northern Lower Michigan and all of Wisconsin. In addition, my local bank said their computers are down. I heard a guy at a local gas station trying to buy a fishing license and he was told the computer was down. On top of that, I'm using the internet to try to contact several educational institutions in the UP (including Northern Mich Univ) and I keep getting a "timed out message".

Anybody know what's going on? I talked to Alltel and they know how widespread the problem is, but not WHAT the problem is, or how long service will be out. Obviously, all these things must be tied in to the same problem.

Kirk

Ishpeming, MI
 

bsrepellant

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You are correct.
I didn't follow any of the ping routes but I tried several UP web sites without success from downstate.
Interesting....
 

ffexpCP

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I guess that explains why I can't access my student account from Lake State.
 

ffexpCP

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Here's a message I received:

Date: August 3, 2006 Delete

Subject: UPDATED - Internet, cell service problems in EUP


Merit Networks Operations Center reports that a "major fiber outage" has caused a loss of Internet and some cell phone service throughout the Eastern U.P.
Internet service for LSSU, the EUP ISD and other major providers in Sault Ste. Marie is currently unavailable. Alltel Networks also reports that both of its Sault towers are not working.

10:20 a.m.
Norlight Networks says the fiber break is in the Coleman, Wisconsin area. This is a major fiber backbone and affects Internet
connectivity along with long distance and cell phone connectivity in the Upper Peninsula.

Technicians have determined the general area of the trouble, but have not yet found the break. Norlight will give another update
later today.
 

seamusg

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ffexpCP said:
Here's a message I received:

Date: August 3, 2006 Delete

Subject: UPDATED - Internet, cell service problems in EUP


Merit Networks Operations Center reports that a "major fiber outage" has caused a loss of Internet and some cell phone service throughout the Eastern U.P.
Internet service for LSSU, the EUP ISD and other major providers in Sault Ste. Marie is currently unavailable. Alltel Networks also reports that both of its Sault towers are not working.

10:20 a.m.
Norlight Networks says the fiber break is in the Coleman, Wisconsin area. This is a major fiber backbone and affects Internet
connectivity along with long distance and cell phone connectivity in the Upper Peninsula.

Technicians have determined the general area of the trouble, but have not yet found the break. Norlight will give another update
later today.
Sounds like someone was digging where the sould not have been - big bucks from the digger.
 

kirkman123

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On WLUC TV6 (Marquette) they said there was a major fiber optic problem between Green Bay and Iron Mountain (Coleman would be along that route) but that the location had been pinpointed and repairs made. I tried my cell phone and the internet and both were back to normal.

Life is good again !!

Kirk
 

SCPD

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Glad to hear that the UP is back up and running. Lot's of different things can share the same fiber-optic cable.

One of the companies I work with is sharing video and two way radio on the same fiber-optic cable. The two way radio is kind of neat. A company called Telex makes modems for Motorola radios. They have 3 motorola mobiles spaced evenly in a complex (they are using CDM1250's) with 6 dB antennas, hooked into the modems, the modems have addresses on the customer's computer network, and handheld radios can talk from one end of the complex to the other thru the network.

And the gentleman who suspects an errant backhoe for the problem in the UP just may be rght on the money.
 

wogggieee

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This is from Michigan Tech Telcom, pretty much the same as stated above:
Off campus digital circuits unavailable »

Item Created: 08/03/2006 at 12:13 a.m. by Brenda Helminen

Last Updated: 08/03/2006 at 4:07 p.m. by Brenda Helminen

Status: Open Type: Central IT Services

Network traffic to MTU and other UP sites (NMU), some selected campus DSL service, one MTU videoconferencing circuit, and GSM cell phones from CellularOne and AllTel are reported down.

Older TDM cellphones are working. We are suspecting a fiber cut somewhere in the UP. AT&T/SBC/Sprint/ALLTel/CellularOne have been notified.

Local, long distance, and E911 telephone calls to/from campus and around the U.P. ARE functioning.

Outage began at 7:57AM Thursday, Aug 3, 2006

UPDATE as of 9:37AM: SBC has been notified by Norlight of Wisconsin that they suspect a fiber cut in their plant. No location is known yet, and we have no estimated time for repair.

UPDATE at 9:40AM: Merit has word back the break is near Coleman, WI, not ETR at this time.

UPDATE noon: Still no ETR, but we do know that there is a splice crew on site, and the construction crew has been sent home.

Update 4:05PM: The fiber cut has been repaired.

Off campus traffic is flowing. Cell service has returned.


We were out of off campus Internet access from about 8-4 and my cell phone didn't work either. Incidents like this kind of make you realize how vulnerable out communications systems could be to a well planned terrorist attack if they were to cut the right wires in the right places. Same deal for electricity. Just from two incidents with in the past few years this can be seen. The first being when a transmission line failed north of green bay, taking out 3/4ths of the UP, and then the failure in Ohio that took out parts of the LP and new york and other eastern areas. It's really amazing and kind of scary how everything is interconnected and reliant on other parts of the system and how failure in one part can take down the how thing. Anyways that's my 2 cents on the issue.
 

seamusg

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wogggieee said:
This is from Michigan Tech Telcom, pretty much the same as stated above:
Off campus digital circuits unavailable »

Item Created: 08/03/2006 at 12:13 a.m. by Brenda Helminen

Last Updated: 08/03/2006 at 4:07 p.m. by Brenda Helminen

Status: Open Type: Central IT Services

Network traffic to MTU and other UP sites (NMU), some selected campus DSL service, one MTU videoconferencing circuit, and GSM cell phones from CellularOne and AllTel are reported down.

Older TDM cellphones are working. We are suspecting a fiber cut somewhere in the UP. AT&T/SBC/Sprint/ALLTel/CellularOne have been notified.

Local, long distance, and E911 telephone calls to/from campus and around the U.P. ARE functioning.

Outage began at 7:57AM Thursday, Aug 3, 2006

UPDATE as of 9:37AM: SBC has been notified by Norlight of Wisconsin that they suspect a fiber cut in their plant. No location is known yet, and we have no estimated time for repair.

UPDATE at 9:40AM: Merit has word back the break is near Coleman, WI, not ETR at this time.

UPDATE noon: Still no ETR, but we do know that there is a splice crew on site, and the construction crew has been sent home.

Update 4:05PM: The fiber cut has been repaired.

Off campus traffic is flowing. Cell service has returned.


We were out of off campus Internet access from about 8-4 and my cell phone didn't work either. Incidents like this kind of make you realize how vulnerable out communications systems could be to a well planned terrorist attack if they were to cut the right wires in the right places. Same deal for electricity. Just from two incidents with in the past few years this can be seen. The first being when a transmission line failed north of green bay, taking out 3/4ths of the UP, and then the failure in Ohio that took out parts of the LP and new york and other eastern areas. It's really amazing and kind of scary how everything is interconnected and reliant on other parts of the system and how failure in one part can take down the how thing. Anyways that's my 2 cents on the issue.
The fiber network is very easily cut by a construction company. Before I retired from SBC the major feeds to the UP were SSM (a cut in Canada), Ironwood ( a cut in Wi or Il) and the Big Mac ( a cut in the LP), all fiber - they elinimated the microwave because of fades due to weather.
 

kirkman123

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An incident like this makes me realize how dependent we can be on the internet and cellular service, just to name two functions. It also is an eye-opener as to how vulnerable we are to anything ranging from a backhoe digging in the wrong spot, to a terrorist plot.

My ISP is Charter and I only lost service for a couple hours from around 3 PM to 5 PM or so.

I had my scanner running all day and the only things of any significance that I noted was MSP Negaunee Central Dispatch could not access LIEN to run files and registrations, and I heard a lot of frustration from various DNR personnel in having their cell phones down.

Technology is wonderful when all is going well, but a failure can be troublesome, to say the least.

Kirk
Ishpeming, MI
 

wogggieee

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The only real trouble i heard on the scanner was a woman trying to contct her daughter who couldnt get into contact with her and was kind of getting worried. Weather or not it waasa becaause of the outaage isnt clear, but the officer did suggest that as a possible cause. We have become very reliant on technology, thats for sure. Makes you realize how reliant we have become on email and cell phones for communications. I'm up here for school and I only have a cell phone, and email, no land line, for communications with back home. So unless i sought out a land line, i was unable to contact my wife in MN. Though maybe that's not such a bad thing after all :)
 

kirkman123

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woggieee,

Without a cellphone or the internet, we really are out of touch. As I said in an earlier post, my internet was only down for a couple hours, but it was at a time when I wanted to post grades at NMU for a summer class I just finished teaching and obviously couldn't do that.

I'm going to be up your way in another week. A niece is coming from Denver and I'm taking her up to Eagle Harbor for a week. She needs to see Brockway, Great Sand Bay etc. and I know she'll enjoy it.

Good luck at MTU

Kirk
Ishpeming
 

kirkman123

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Tonight's newspaper says a construction crew working on a culvert cut into the fiber optic down in Wisconsin. I'll bet some poor guy got his rear end about chewed off by his boss. The article sounded like many, many people were inconvenienced, and some businesses lost money during the Internet down time, but at least there weren't any reports of emergencies that were made worse by the loss of Internet and cell phones.
 

seamusg

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kirkman123 said:
Tonight's newspaper says a construction crew working on a culvert cut into the fiber optic down in Wisconsin. I'll bet some poor guy got his rear end about chewed off by his boss. The article sounded like many, many people were inconvenienced, and some businesses lost money during the Internet down time, but at least there weren't any reports of emergencies that were made worse by the loss of Internet and cell phones.
Normally when you cut fiber you pay for all the outage by the minute plus the repair cost. Usually very expencive.$$$$$$
 

kirkman123

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seamusg

I assumed it would be expensive for whoever cut the fiber, but I had no idea it would include the outage by the minute. It makes sense though. In this particular case, it would amount to big bucks since the total time was somewhere around 9 hours of down time.

Thanks for the information.

Kirk
 

wogggieee

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kirkman123 said:
woggieee,

Without a cellphone or the internet, we really are out of touch. As I said in an earlier post, my internet was only down for a couple hours, but it was at a time when I wanted to post grades at NMU for a summer class I just finished teaching and obviously couldn't do that.

I'm going to be up your way in another week. A niece is coming from Denver and I'm taking her up to Eagle Harbor for a week. She needs to see Brockway, Great Sand Bay etc. and I know she'll enjoy it.

Good luck at MTU

Kirk
Ishpeming
ha ha, i was just up at brockway today playing with my radios. I was able to get superior Wisconsin's fire dept and a few ham repeaters from the north shore of MN. Reception up there is amazing. Was able to get all of the ontonagon county and many of the gogebic county 800mhz tower sites. Don't know about anything east of here. I don't go that way ever so i haven't bothered programing anything for it.
 

kirkman123

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woggieee

I've taken my Pro 96 to Brockway too; amazing reception there for sure. I'm in Ishpeming, about 15 miles west of Marquette. Our elevation is close to 1,600 feet so I'm able to pick up about 6 towers all the time, and a few more at other times.

Many TG from the Keweenaw are on the Champion tower near me, so I do hear Houghton Co. all the time and Mercy Ambulance too.

I've been listening to DNR; sounds like there's a fire out toward Keweenaw Point. I first heard about it when Houghton Co. was talking to the Coast Guard at Portage Station and they were discussing a sailboat off Keweenaw Point reporting a fire. Not sure if the sailboat had reported the fire via radio or cellphone, but soon the DNR was involved.

I've gone to the end of US41 just to the east of Copper Harbor and followed the two track from there. Must be "interesting" for the DNR and our firefighters to head back that way to tackle a fire.

Kirk
 

wogggieee

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you're correct, there is a pretty good fire going up there. The DNR channels were very busy all day yesterday. It can be seen pretty good from the Bete Gris area. Its way out on the tip. Not really an easy place to get to. I also noticed it could be seen from the weather satellite too. I've gone on that road past the end of 41 (Mandan Road) a little bit, but never went very far since i don't have the vehicle for that kind of stuff. Wish I did, I'd like to go out there further.
 

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kirkman123

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woggiee

Thanks for the pictures; it's an impressive looking fire. They've got to be having a hard time getting equipment back there, and once they do get there it must be a chore to get equipment deployed around the fire itself.

Many years ago I went with some friends, via jeep, all the way back to Schlatter Lake out toward Keweenaw Point. Actually, a jeep was about the only way to get back in there. That was in the 1960s and I haven't been that far back since then. In more recent times (within the last 5-6 years) I drove a couple miles beyond the end of 41 but I wasn't in a vehicle that was made for that kind of travel. I finally came to a stream and decided I didn't want to try to ford it and end up getting stuck. I'd sure like to have a jeep and do some real exploring up there.

I recognized the Bete Gris location where you took some of the pictures, but I'm trying to figure out where you took the first picture that shows a little of Lake Superior on the right hand side.

Kirk
 

wogggieee

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You're right about the Bete Gris ones. The others are from Brockway Mountain. I think a Jeep or an ATV would be a lot of fun to take back there. I suppose you could hike back there too. But i don't have the ability to do that. I would think that just getting the water to fight a fire in a location like that would be difficult too. Would have to pump it from the lake most likely. I suppose in those situations they do a lot of making fire lines and stuff like that. I'm always amazed by the efforts those guys put into fighting those forest fires. What an undertaking. There was a large one in the Arrowhead of Minnesota a few weeks back which the smoke blew across the lake and into houghton making it rather hazy here. It was cool to look at the satellite and see the stream of smoke and how far that traveled.
 
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