Telecommunications Disrupted

Editor's note: Service was finally restored at 7:45 p.m., after seven hours! Thanks to all the commenters for the great information and updates! You can see photos of the fiber that was cut in this photo set courtesy of Craig Dunton.

Northfield is experiencing a major telecommunications outage right now. Midwest Wireless, T-Mobile, Qwest (and Qwest DSL), and others are down. Cable internet service appears to be unaffected. Check out the comments attached to this story for more information.

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Cingular wireless is also non-functional.

WCCO radio news at 2 pm

WCCO radio news at 2 pm reported that 911 service is out, too.

Not good.

Thanks for the report, Griff.

It'd sure be nice if the Telcos excerised/implemented some forms of redundancy.  If they did, it's not working.

I bet St. Olaf, Carleton & Nfld Hospital Work

I bet St. Olaf, Carleton and Northfield Hospital are fine; they have St. Olaf's microwave to the Cities and the new fiber sonet. 

Blue Monday has phones too, and indeed the hospital works. Maybe Blue Monday is on the new St. Olaf phone service. 

Alexander J. Beeby

Father, Friend, Citizen


"It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change." (Charles Darwin)


Our home phone works just fine...

...because we have a whole-house VOIP system. :-)

And Skype works well, too,

And Skype works well, too, since you can:

"Use Skype to call landlines and mobiles free in The US and Canada until the end of the year."

Of course, it only works for non-Northfield numbers during this outage.

Good point

Of course, it only works for non-Northfield numbers during this outage.

Very good point.

Down till 6pm?

Qwest is supposedly reporting 6:00 p.m. as an estimated time of repair. We'll see....

Communication disruption

If someone absolutely must make a phone call before the Qwest repair is complete tonight, check out SKYPE on the internet. As much as replaces newspapers and radio as the last minute info source, so SKYPE may soon replace the land-line telephone.

Next problem: When will we ever have decent mobile phone service? (I've been abroad and know what is possible. )



Phone Outage

It seems to be back as of about 8 PM here.


Maybe this was the cause ?

1300hrs, 25 Aug 2006: As I was driving past the corner of 20 and Hwy3 south of Dundas I noted a backhoe with a trio of people all standing around the hole they had been digging. Being of a curious nature, I swung by to see what was up.

They explained they had been digging in a location suggested to be clear by the flags set by the Gopher One-Call people. They explained they had encountered two (2!) unmarked cables. A cursory glance suggested that the depth and nature may have made it unlikely that a detector could have sensed the cables (fiber optic looking cables suggests that they would be very difficult to detect).

I was reminded of an off-hand comment at a working session of the Bridgewater working group on township planning and zoning (established to answer the question - should Bridgewater Twp get into the zoning and planning business). The comment was made that if they were in charge they would require that anyone who wanted to lay cable or underground utilities in the Twp would be required to provide a map showing locations.

I suggest they go one better, and require a self-referential, differential GPS map should be required (if farmers’ tractors can use it, why can’t a ditch witch operator?). The the township would have it own backup maps that could complement the One-Call efforts. Particularly interesting given the similar event that occured when 115th street was being regraded (they ran into an unmarked cable as well).

Bruce W. Morlan
Generalist - specialization is for insects

the FINAL word

From Craig:

At 12:40 today a contractor, not to be out done by the Hail damage of yesterday, cut off the unmarked fiber going from Northfield to Faribault. The location was ½ mile south of Menard’s on Highway 3. The service was restored at 7:45pm tonight. It affected all calls from the Qwest Central office and cell phones in and out of the city of Northfield. 911 service was not affected from the colleges.
If you would like to see more I have included links with some pictures of the cut off.

Craig D. Dunton RCDD/TSP
OSP Specialist/ LAN Specialist
Director of Telecommunications St. Olaf and Carleton Colleges, Shattuck-St. Mary's School and
the Northfield Hospital

Northfield, MN 55057