It was just one month ago that an AT and T fiber optic cable in auburn was severed that disrupted all communications in Western Nevada county from cell phone to Internet to the 911 emergency telephone system. During that Saturday night January 21st, for about eight hours, cash registers didn’t work, 911 wasn’t available, ATM’s were down and security cameras plus monitoring services were unable to transmit. It was a rude awakening to Nevada County officials that basically all of our emergency services communications were delivered through one cable. Nevada county Information Systems Manager Craig Porter says AT and T took the lead to resolve the problem and is now installing a back up cable.
“They realized that that was probably an unsatisfactory way to provide service to the county. To that end, they have approved and are in the process of engineering a job to have an additional fiber installed on Highway 20 from approximately Smartsville up into Grass Valley which will provide a full redundant path in Nevada County.”
Should the fiber cable on 49 be severed in the future they can switch all the traffic to the fiber cable on 20. AT and T is also reviewing the interoperability of all the telephone communications facilities in Grass Valley and Nevada City.
“They both operate down into the Auburn area on the fiber that goes down Highway 49. They do not talk to each other directly, and so when that fiber was severed, the Grass Valley COs and the Nevada City CO could not talk to each other.”
Porter says with the second fiber cable on Highway in addition to the communications centers in Nevada City and Grass Valley being connected we should not experience another situation as the one that occurred on February 21st.