Backup power failure leads to widespread internet outage
GCI customers from King Cove to Kotzebue and across much of Southcentral Alaska reported issues with phone and internet service Monday morning.
Customers across the state reported issues with landline calling, cell service and internet connectivity.
Multiple Verizon customers also reported cell issues Monday morning, as well.
While services were down for much of the day, wireless and local and long distance service was restored by 5 p.m. Most residential and business internet service should be restored, too, the company says.
The company issued a statement on their official Twitter and Facebook accounts alerting customers to the outage.
The issue was related to a Municipal Light & Power power outage that occurred around 4:30 a.m. Monday.
Crews were working "as quickly as it is safe to do" to completely replace a large transformer near Denali Street and Fireweed Street in Anchorage, ML&P spokesperson Julie Harris confirmed.
"This is a larger than average transformer that has gone out," Harris said. "It is a priority and all of our resources are devoted to it.
Heather Handyside, a GCI spokesperson, said Monday afternoon that their backup power source failed:
At 4:45am this morning, an ML&P transformer failed in midtown Anchorage near GCI headquarters.
GCI has redundant power sources at each of our critical facilities in accordance with telecommunications industry best practices including a substantial battery plant that can keep network equipment running for several hours in the event of a commercial power outage.
In this circumstance, upon the loss of commercial power, one of GCI’s dual backup power systems, which had been successfully tested on Tuesday, July 3, failed to operate. This combination of events caused today’s outage and has complicated our efforts to restore services. We are still investigating the specific circumstances that led to the failure of the power system.
As of mid-morning commercial power was still unavailable but the GCI backup power system was fully functional, which allowed us to begin restoration of our services.
We are currently working with ML&P to ensure that commercial power is restored and in the meantime, are restoring services using our back up power sources.
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