Internet outage disrupts routine for Ravalli Co. government

By Kevin Maki

HAMILTON, Mont. –

Ravalli County emergency services manager Erik Hoover said a Charter Communications fiber optic cable was cut between Lolo and Florence Monday night.

Hoover said the break reportedly occurred after a tree fell on an aerial line.

Service was back up by evening. But county government workers were without internet or e-mail services all day Tuesday.

“All of the network services that we access in the county that go outside our internal network were down,” said Hoover.

He said e-mail was down. But he said 911 phone service and the internal network were working at full capacity.

“It’s been more of an inconvenience,” he said.

But it slowed everybody down.

The Motor Vehicle Department had to temporarily shut down transactions.

Without computer services the office couldn’t connect with the Montana Department of Justice.

Supervisor Bonnie Dugan said staff took names and numbers of customers. Those customers who came in and couldn’t do their business, she said, will get a special window when they come back.

“We would take you first,” said Dugan. We will have a couple windows for people that were here Tuesday, as well as windows for other customers.

It didn’t bother Darby resident Michael Evans. He came to transfer a vehicle title.

“It’s no big deal,” he said. “If we don’t do it today we’ll do it the next time we come in.”

At the Public Defenders Office Pepper Aden couldn’t create documents to be filed with the court for upcoming hearings. So she hand wrote information that will be entered into the computer when service resumes.

The outage affected just about everybody.

Jocelyn Snider at the Montana State University Extension Office couldn’t enroll 4-H kids on the state wide online data base.

She said with the Thanksgiving Holiday coming up it delays much of her work until December.

Workers did say the downtime, however, gave them a chance to get caught up on a backlog of work.

Information from www.nbcmontana.com

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