Severed fiber optic cable leaves West Hawaii areas without telecommunications services

An hours-long telecommunications outage that impacted much of West Hawaii on Tuesday was caused by the accidental severing of a fiber optic cable by a construction company working in South Kohala.

The line was cut around 9 a.m. Tuesday, disrupting cellular telephones, traditional landline telephones, the internet, and public radio stations’ ability to broadcast. It also impacted the ability to call 9-1-1 and police stations in Kona and Ka’u.


Hawaiian Telcom, which owns the fiber optic cable, said in a media release that a construction company working in a remote area in the vicinity of Waikoloa Village accidentally severed the line.

The company did not respond to questions regarding what areas of Hawaii Island were impacted or how many people were without voice and internet services. It appears that the outage impacted North and South Kona, Ka‘u and part of South Kohala as service was available in Waimea, as well as in East Hawaii.

“The impact, which ranged from intermittent or slow service to inability to place or receive calls, depended on the type of service, location and service provider,” said Hawaiian Telcom in the statement.

Crews arrived at the location of the cut around 1 p.m. and began to restore services. All repairs were completed and services back in full operation around 4 p.m.

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