Parts of the nation’s communications infrastructure went on the blink today in the Pacific Northwest. Sprint’s network suffered dual cable cuts in different parts of the company. Cable cuts happen of course and every now and then more than one happens at the same time in just the wrong place, making mincemeat out of someone’s network protection design.
In this case, there was apparently a construction-related fiber cut between Milwaukee and Chicago and another unrelated cut between Portland and Tacoma on the west coast. That set the somewhat lightly fibered northern tier somewhat adrift, with customers in Washington, Oregon, and Northern California particularly affected, and some mention of Minnesota as well.
One of those customers turned out to be an airline, which lost its connection to Sabre. Alaska Airline’s reservation system therefore suffering an outage that led to 53 canceled flights. Ugh, that sounds like a mess.
Sprint’s network plant is one of the older ones in the ground right now. Over the summer, they announced plans to upgrade their core infrastructure to 40G and 100G with gear from Ciena. The repairs for today’s event were already underway at last report.