Serviceless In Seattle

Serviceless In Seattle

Comcast service restored to thousands of Seattle-area cable customers

A severed fiber-optic line in South Lake Union caused a widespread outage for thousands of Comcast subscribers in the Seattle area Thursday. Share story An estimated 30,000 Comcast customers in the Seattle area were affected by an extensive outage Thursday caused by a construction crew cutting through a fiber-optic line in South Lake Union.

Last month, Comcast found out the hard way that proper locates are your best line of defense against damage to your outside plant.

After a construction crew cut a “major fiber-optic trunk line” in Seattle, approximately 30,000 customers were without internet for most of the day as crews worked tirelessly to splice the cable back together. In a world where businesses and people rely heavily on being connected at all times, outages of any length of time or magnitude come at a serious cost to your brand. Unlike the cut cable that was repaired in under a day, the customer’s loyalty is a much harder thing to repair.

While there have been efforts to quantify the financial impact of downtime or outages, calculating that cost including the damage to your brand reputation and loyalty is a much more difficult task. According to IT Director, organizations lose anywhere between $84,000 and $108,000 USD for every hour of system downtime. This figure, however, does not include the value of customer loyalty. To get a more accurate figure, the impact percentage must be increased to reflect the lifetime value of customers who permanently defect to a competitor. “If a large percentage of customers typically become very loyal after a satisfactory buying experience, the impact factor may significantly exceed 100 percent, possibly by a high multiple” (IT-Director, Assessing the Financial Impact of Downtime).

We don’t know exactly who was at fault in this particular Comcast outage, but what we do know is that an accurate and properly marked cable locate would have greatly reduced the risk of this incidence occurring.

Accurate locates are your best defense against dig-ups. Accuracy requires a cable in top condition. Ground faults, if left unaddressed, will affect the accuracy and distance for which your locate signal is able to travel. Worse yet, ground faults can also impact your brand reputation and loyalty if they deteriorate to the point where your customers experience signal degradation or downtime.

Cable Monitoring systems show you the damage that will impact your locate accuracy. Armed with this intel, you’re able to fix these minor issues when they occur, ensuring that your locates will be accurate, that your network stays up and running, and most importantly: that your customers stay happy.