OptimERA Outages Caused By Washington State Wildfires

Sep 8, 2020

The hub end of OptimERA's satellite connection—located in Eastern Washington and pictured here—is currently surrounded by wildfires and has suffered multiple fiber-line breaks, according to company CTO Jester Purtteman.
Credit Courtesy of OptimERA

OptimERA has been experiencing outages over the past couple of days due to wildfires in Washington State, according to Jester Purtteman, Chief Technology Officer for the local internet provider. 

Purtteman said that the hub end of the company's satellite connection is surrounded by wildfires and has suffered multiple fiber-line breaks, which caused the outages. 

Connection has been reestablished using a different fiber provider since Monday night when Purtteman made the statement. But as fires continue to burn in the area, officials said the company is looking for a satellite downlink with "geographic redundancy" that could be used if issues continue or in the event that the current fiber provider is taken out as well. 

OptimERA CEO Emmett Fitch said he is unsure if it was overhead or buried lines that were damaged by the fires. Regardless, he added that the company is working quickly to establish additional support.

"We are working as fast as we can to get another backup to the existing backup," said Fitch. "We have been informed that it may take up to a week after the fires subside before our existing service can be put back to fully operational."

It is possible that connection will go in and out as they troubleshoot and fires continue burning, added Purtteman.