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Brush fire causes cellular, Internet service outage

by Luke Hollister Western News
| April 26, 2019 4:00 AM

A brush fire burned MontanaSky’s fiber optic cables by Swamp Creek on Monday, causing a temporary internet and cell service outage for Libby residents, According to a Montana Sky representative.

Amber Pacheco-Holm, with MontanaSky, said workers had to cut and splice the line, taking everyone’s internet down to replace the damaged part.

The line coming from Kalispell “is what we feed all of Libby with,” she said. MontanaSky provides internet for cell towers, which is why the fire stopped cell service as well as internet.

Because of fire damage, workers needed to replace the wiring, she said.

“Internet travels at the speed of light through the glass,” but any kind of issue on fiber optic glass will affect service, she said.

The lines were in a temporary location, instead of on poles, due to construction happening in the area, she said.