WASHINGTON — Hawaii U.S. Sen. Brian Schatz on Friday called on telecom companies to provide answers on the islandwide phone, internet and cable TV outage that occurred last week on Kauai.
“Hawaii is uniquely vulnerable to service disruptions due to the limited number of undersea cables supporting telecommunications for the islands,” he wrote. “Companies serving Hawaii must account for these challenges and ensure that the infrastructure they count upon to deliver service is reliable.”
According to reports, the outage lasted for at least a day for many residents. Many in the community voiced complaints about Spectrum’s response and their failure to provide quick, relevant information to residents about the outage and, more importantly, information on when services were expected to be restored.
Schatz is the lead Democrat on the Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation, and the Internet.
In his letter to service providers Spectrum, Verizon and CenturyLink, a co-owner of the fiber-optic cable line that reportedly caused the outage, Schatz requested a detailed account of what occurred, why information was not immediately communicated to residents, and why it took a prolonged period of time to restore service.
“The outages on Kauai are a good example of how failed infrastructure that has not been made redundant can disrupt the lives and businesses of Hawaii residents. I am particularly concerned that the outage appears to have contributed to interruptions of 911 services, which could have had potentially serious consequences,” he wrote.