69°F
weather icon Possible Drizzle

Customers, businesses endure internet service interruption

A power outage on Mount Potosi late Wednesday evening halted internet service to thousands of customers and several businesses who rely on Rise Broadband and LV.Net for their internet service in parts of Nye County and surrounding areas.

The 11:30 p.m. interruption, according to Valley Electric Association’s Tom Husted, was due to harsh overnight weather conditions on the 8,517-foot peak in the Spring Mountain Range southeast of Pahrump.

Partial, spotty service was re-established early Thursday afternoon. However, it went back down around 6 p.m. and remained unavailable at press time.

Husted noted a generator which powers communication facilities on the mountain failed to kick on after Wednesday night’s heavy freeze affected power lines.

“Obviously with the weather we had on the mountain, there was snow, ice and rain, so it’s very easy that you can have an ice buildup on those lines on the mountaintop which can cause problems,” he said. “For a large portion of those consumers and customers up there, their backup generator did not kick in. They have backup generators up there, but when it doesn’t work in these kinds of situations, it really compounds things.”

An additional challenge Husted mentioned, was the remote location where crews had to traverse to reach the site and make repairs.

Snow and ice prevented crews from driving to the site, thus they were forced to walk with their equipment.

“If the roads are impassable, the crews have to walk for miles,” he said. “We do have all-terrain vehicles to assist us with not only this mountain top, but others, and they utilize those to the extent they can. If there’s a situation which involves a lot of equipment, then it might take multiple trips up the mountain.”

Valley Electric Association was one of just a handful of businesses and entities that were not affected by the interruption.

Husted explained why.

“Our internet service has not been affected because we’re on Valley Communications High-Speed Broadband,” he said. “We have several gigabits of capacity here on redundancy fiber-optic lines that serve us, and will soon serve the entire community.”

Pahrump’s sole RadioShack location was affected by the outage.

Manager John Dolin said his customers could not complete their transactions by swiping credit or debit cards.

“We could only do cash sales, but the customers seemed to take it in stride,” he said.

The outage did not appear to affect operations at the Pahrump Nugget Hotel/Casino, as customers were busy playing machines as usual on Thursday.

Pahrump’s Pathways is described as a non-traditional school where students do their coursework and take tests online.

Principal Karen Hills said students who had internet service at home were not affected by the outage.

“If they’re in the same situation we are, then they cannot access the Internet,” she said. “We are looking to try to get our own in-house server for the curriculum because we could not have students do anything here on campus. Our students really only have to come when they take their tests. The next time they come and take their test they will take two of them. It does create problems in the sense that it depends on what internet service they have at home.”

Husted, meanwhile, said outages of such magnitude as Thursday’s are not very common in the area.

“Jan. 7, 2007, was the last significant weather-related outage that we’ve had on Mt. Potosi,” he said. “Of course, being a high mountain location, it’s also a communications site for various private companies and federal and state agencies, including Valley Electric Association. It’s just very tough terrain and sometimes when there are weather-related outages, it can be difficult to quickly fix, just due to the geography.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Groundwater levies in Nye County raise questions, again

It was like an echo of a former discussion when, during their most recent meeting, Nye County commissioners addressed two agenda items relating to groundwater levies to be assessed for the purposes of helping to fund Nevada Division of Water Resources and the Nevada State Engineer’s Office’s annual activities.

Former commissioner Wichman tapped for Nye County job

Former Nye County Commissioner Lorinda Wichman said farewell to county government at the beginning of 2020, having served a full 12 years as county commissioner but now, just over a year after her departure, she is ready to jump back into the government sector, this time as an employee rather than as an elected official.

Great Basin College helps feed the community

In life, there are several very basic needs, things that one must have in order to not just survive but to thrive, and one of those needs is sustenance. Sadly, however, there are thousands of people all across the local community who struggle with food insecurity each day.

Earth Day 2021 set for Ian Deutch park in Pahrump

After being forced to take a year off in 2020 due to the onset of the pandemic, organizers of the Pahrump Valley’s annual Earth Day and Arbor Day festivities are ready to get back into the events scene and the 2021 celebration is set to take place in just one week’s time.

Nye slated poorest county in state

Nye County is the poorest in Nevada, according to the data from the 24/7 Wall St.

UNLV students prepare for solar competition

UNLV students were racing to put the finishing touches on Mojave Bloom, a 628-square-foot home they’ve built from scratch for the U.S. Department of Energy’s international 2020 Solar Decathlon Build Challenge. The biennial contest challenges colleges worldwide to design, construct and operate homes powered by renewable energy.

Noisy fire in Beatty

It was risky business for the Beatty Fire Department, as they responded to a mobile home fire just before 3 a.m. Thursday, April 8, in the 500 block of West Watson.

Sunday marks World Amateur Radio Day

World Amateur Radio Day is Sunday, April 18, the anniversary of the day in 1925 when the International Amateur Radio Union was formed in Paris.

Letters to the Editor

Former Soviet leader’s words ringing true 60 years later