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Cable fire affects communications on Oahu and Kauai

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 04:57 p.m. HST, Jan 15, 2013

Oceanic and Hawaiian Telcom crews are working to restore services by 8 p.m. "at the earliest," after a fire under the airport viaduct damaged fiber optic cables overnight, causing widespread telephone, internet and cable television outages, an official said.

A homeless man was hospitalized with burns to his face and arms following the rubbish fire that was extinguished by four fire companies about 2:31 a.m. The fire, on Nimitz Highway near Kilihau Street, was reported just before midnight.

The cable carries data for both Hawaiian Telcom and Oceanic Time Warner customers as well as some Sprint mobile phone customers. 

Oceanic said about 15,000 customers lost some of their channels on digital cable until about noon today. Customers are also still experiencing Internet and phone difficulties, such as slow browsing and intermittent fast-busy phone signals.

Hawaiian Tel did not have an estimate of how many customers were affected.

But the break is causing “significant” impact on all of Hawaiian Telcom’s services, primarily in West Oahu, but also possibly on other islands, said Ann Nishida Fry, senior manager of corporate communications.

The Kauai Police Department said they are experiencing intermittent phone outages due to a technical issue with their service provider, Hawaiian Telcom. The department asks that Kauai residents limit 911 calls to emergencies only until the issue is resolved.

“We don’t have a good handle on a customer number at this point,” Fry said, as the utility is “channeling all resources” toward assembling the equipment and manpower needed to repair the cut cable, as well as rerouting telephone, Internet and television service to other, functioning circuits.

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4r3A1 wrote:
1/15/13 (11:54am) Although Hawaiian Telcom's TV services were down in Aiea since 6am this morning, which prevented me from watching the morning news, the recorded videos on the DVR seem to be working okay.
on January 15,2013 | 10:56AM
4r3A1 wrote:
1/15/13 (12:00): Appears like the fire affected the Star Advertiser's date stamp; as my original post/comment is about an hour off...lol
on January 15,2013 | 11:02AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
The date stamp is always an hour off. I think their server or whatever they call it is in another time zone.
on January 15,2013 | 12:15PM
Pocho wrote:
Let's see Verizon collects money from the homeless man who set the fire. hahahahahahahaha You Go Homeless Man!
on January 15,2013 | 05:22PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
My iPad started acting up so i thought Verizon was being affected also. Then i realized that i needed to restart my iPad, same way that Windows needs to be restarted. Machines are not perfect. Hardly.
on January 15,2013 | 08:45PM
96706 wrote:
Was somebody trying to cut the copper wire?
on January 15,2013 | 11:21AM
loquaciousone wrote:
He he he... lolo didn't know the difference between copper wire and fiber optics.
on January 15,2013 | 12:54PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Let me try Google. Oh yes 96706 is in Ewa Beach. No comment .
on January 15,2013 | 08:47PM
Publicbraddah wrote:
It's the same area where homeless are evicted by the state and come back a few months later.
on January 15,2013 | 11:41AM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
So could Hawaiian Telephone get reimbursed for lost revenue from The State, or get a break on their Tax Returns?
on January 15,2013 | 12:17PM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
They can sue the homeless guy.
on January 15,2013 | 03:30PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Lol u missed that i used the old name for Hawaiian Telcom.
on January 15,2013 | 08:50PM
awahana wrote:
I cancelled my poor service HawTel landline over 7 years ago. I have VOIP and Google Voice free. No problems here...
on January 15,2013 | 12:25PM
GooglyMoogly wrote:
Meanwhile, the people on oahu who normally call you can't because they ARE affected by the outage. Even when you win, you lose. :)
on January 15,2013 | 01:12PM
awahana wrote:
That's THEIR problem if they are on landline, not mine. I don't have anyone that cannot reach me.
Meanwhile, NOBODY can reach them, nevermind them trying to call me.
Let's see others reach them...anyone. No can. That is the drawback of landline today. No wonder so many cancel and go exclusive wireless and VOIP.
You not understanding how telecom works. I have been involved 25 years bruddah.
on January 15,2013 | 07:19PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Your last sentence tells me that u work in the industry.
on January 15,2013 | 08:51PM
oiwi808 wrote:
Apparently you fail to accept the fact that THIS time it didn't affect you...NEXT time it might. Regardless if you have a landline, cable or cellular internet you ARE connected to a wire somewhere. Thats right "bruddah" your wireless cellular connection is connected to a copper or fiber feed somewhere. Your 25 years should give you a clue about that. Or maybe YOU are the one who doesn't understand how telecom works. So when the copper thief cuts the line that serves your wireless connection or when the next homeless guy is cold & decides to build a fire to keep warm...guess what mr 25 years?
on January 15,2013 | 08:59PM
hikine wrote:
Were the cables that low in order for it to be affected by the fire? We kept HITel due to we have a fax machine and if the power ever goes out, the telephone line stil works, I also have DSL with them.
on January 15,2013 | 12:46PM
oiwi808 wrote:
they were in ducts that run under the H1 viaduct.
on January 15,2013 | 08:59PM
allie wrote:
on January 15,2013 | 02:44PM
niimi wrote:
They toasted Sprint's cell phone network, too.
on January 15,2013 | 03:56PM
livinginhawaii wrote:
I thought abercrombie swept the homeless out of the canals.... His whole hype after he got elected was pure shibai.
on January 15,2013 | 04:51PM
Pocho wrote:
hahahahahahahaha, Let's see how Verizon collects money from the homeless man who set the fire!!!
on January 15,2013 | 05:20PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
Fires are needed to keep warm and to cook and to have light to read.
on January 15,2013 | 08:53PM
fwurstiv wrote:
Need beter protection for these cables. Find a permanent solution to keeping the luzrs and trolls from under the bridge. Now that they know the cables are there, who knows what's next.
on January 15,2013 | 05:26PM
Allenk wrote:
I had driven under the viaduct a few months ago and there was another horrendous fire that smelled of burned rubber. As we approached the freeway on ramp smoke was so thick that passing through it was blinding. It appears that this sort of thing has happened before. Dangerous!
on January 15,2013 | 07:12PM
HonoluluHawaii wrote:
If the Viaduct falls down, then that would REALLY be front page news. Speaking of which the airport Viaducts are located in a region of settling soil. Professor John R. Evans taught us that in CE 350 and CE 450, Soils and Foundation Engineering. Not to worry though. The viaducts look ok to me.
on January 15,2013 | 08:59PM
Papakolea wrote:
The utilities spent millions on anti-terrorism awareness and then one homeless guy with a match takes down a major trunk.
on January 15,2013 | 09:17PM
HAJAA1 wrote:
Funny how the writer stayed FAR away from the fact that this was caused by the rotten homeless issues under the viaduct - something our leaders haven't been able to gain control of for years. C'mon paper, challenge our government once in a while!
on January 15,2013 | 11:02PM
France wrote:
Where is our Homeland Security. Our state and government leaders need to tackle these types of problems that are caused by the homeless and could be caused by other groups as well. Lets work on a solution to fix these problems that are way to costly to keep happening.
on January 16,2013 | 07:08AM
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