Schools hit by internet outage

By Ty Beaver, Herald staff writer February 10, 2012 

Educational institutions including Washington State University Tri-Cities and school districts in Richland and Walla Walla experienced an internet outage of about four hours Thursday.

The outage resulted from a high-count fiber cable being cut, disabling the K20 network operated by the University of Washington, said Melissa O'Neil Perdue, spokeswoman for WSU-TC. It was not immediately known how the cable was damaged.

The outage meant affected institutions did not have external internet access along with other services, such as the loss of video conferencing for some classes as WSU-TC. However, there were no reports the outage resulted in canceled classes.

"It wasn't world-ending; it was an inconvenience," O'Neil Perdue said.

The network serves the data and video needs of the state's educational institutions, according to the network's website. It was installed in 1996.

The cable was cut sometime Thursday morning.

Steve Aagaard, spokesman for the Richland School District, confirmed that he and other district officials were without internet access until about 2 p.m.

Five other educational institutions also lost service, but their identities were not immediately available.

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