Crews restore internet, phone service to schools after 24-hour outage due to damaged fiber

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DRAPER — CenturyLink crews worked through the night and into Friday afternoon to restore internet and telephone service lost when fiber was damaged during utility construction in Draper.

The outage affected three Salt Lake County school districts and multiple public charter schools. The entire Canyons School District had no internet or telephone service for 24 hours. The district was returning to normal operations Friday afternoon, said spokesman Jeff Haney.

The outage started about 1 p.m. on Thursday after two major bundles of CenturyLink fiber optic cable near 12300 S. 88 West were damaged by horizontal boring in the area by another company, according to the Utah Education and Telehealth Network website.

The network connects Utah public schools, colleges, universities and libraries to the internet via multiple service providers, one of which is CenturyLink.

CenturyLink dispatched crews to the area and discovered extensive damage to its fiber and conduit. Restoration required installation of about 2,000 feet of new conduit, the education network's website states.

Murray and Jordan school districts also were affected by the outage as were 13 public charter schools in the area, the UETN website states.

A spokeswoman from CenturyLink confirmed the outage and said, "We are aware that some business customers, including the Utah Education and Telehealth Network, are experiencing service disruptions due to a third-party fiber cut … and CenturyLink is working to restore service and minimize customer impact. We are committed to keeping you up to date on our progress."

The disruption in internet service also impacted ongoing RISE testing in the school districts.

The computer-adaptive tests are administered to Utah public school students in grades 3-8 and require internet connection.

RISE testing has also been interrupted in recent weeks by computer glitches, some of which have affected testing statewide. Early on, those interruptions were attributed to problems with the test vendor's servers and not related to the districts' internet access.

The Utah Education and Telehealth Network worked to reroute traffic through alternate links "where possible to restore service," according to the UETN website.

The Utah Education and Telehealth Network was created and funded by the Utah Legislature, initially as an education television entity. It later evolved into an educational network.

Contributing: Ashley Imlay

Correction: An earlier version of this story referred to the Utah Educational Network. The full and correct name of the network is the Utah Education and Telehealth Network.

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