Cut fiber optic cable leaves areas of Western Hawaii without telecommunications services

An hour-long telecommunications outage that affected much of western Hawaii on Tuesday was caused by a fiber optic cable being accidentally severed by a construction company working in South Kohala.

The line went down around 9 a.m. on Tuesday, disrupting cell phones, traditional landlines, the internet and the broadcasting capacity of public radio stations. It also impacted the ability to call 9-1-1 and Kona and Ka’u police stations.

Hawaiian Telcom, owner of the fiber optic cable, said in a news release that a construction company working in a remote area near the village of Waikoloa accidentally cut the line.

The company did not respond to questions about the areas on the island of Hawaii affected or the number of people without voice and internet services. It appears the outage affected North and South Kona, Ka’u, and part of South Kohala, as service was available in Waimea, as well as East Hawaii.

“The impact, which ranged from intermittent or slow service to the inability to make or receive calls, depended on the type of service, location and service provider,” Hawaiian Telcom said in the release. .

Crews arrive at the location of the outage around 1 p.m. and begin to restore services. All repairs were completed and services resumed full activity around 4 p.m.

Sean B. Jackson