Service restored to hundreds of UTOPIA customers after weekend outage

Published: Monday, Aug. 4 2014 1:40 p.m. MDT

Employees work in the Network Operations Center at Utopia, a fiber optic company, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2011. Service to roughly 600 InfoWest customers on the UTOPIA fiber-optic network has been restored after an equipment failure caused a two-day outage.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

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ST. GEORGE — Internet service was restored Sunday evening for roughly 600 UTOPIA customers after a two-day outage.

UTOPIA spokesman Gary Jones said the outage was due to an equipment failure along a line linking St. George's InfoWest Internet service provider and the UTOPIA hub in Salt Lake City.

Service was interrupted between Friday and Sunday evenings, affecting roughly 2 percent of UTOPIA's customers, Jones said.

"We moved (InfoWest's) customers over to an alternative route early on Sunday morning, and by Sunday evening the repair was completed," he said.

Jones said part of the delay in restoring service was due to the rural location of the equipment failure, which occurred between Gunlock, Washington County, and Newcastle, Iron County.

"It took some effort to try to get it diagnosed and (identify) where it was because it was so remote," he said.

Randy Cosby, vice president of InfoWest, said most customers' service was restored by 6:30 p.m. Sunday and that the company is working to address any remaining service issues.

Cosby said some customers may have adjusted or disconnected their wires in an attempt to restore services, resulting in a few homes that remain unconnected.

"We brought extra staff in to proactively work with those people and get them back online," he said. "That’s where our focus is now, getting each one of those back up and operational."

Cosby said the weekend's outage is one of the worst service interruptions InfoWest has seen in its 20 years of doing business.

"What we always try to do is make our service available and reliable," he said. "This is definitely not normal for what we’ve done, and we’re trying to find what we can do to prevent this from ever happening again."

Jones emphasized that the failure occurred on UTOPIA equipment and should not be seen as a reflection of InfoWest's service.

"It was an issue with UTOPIA, and we’ve repaired it," he said.

Email: benwood@deseretnews.com, Twitter: bjaminwood

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