Phone, internet service returning to San Juans

FRIDAY HARBOR — Phone and internet service is coming back to San Juan County, five days after a “catastrophic failure” of underwater fiber-optic cable.

The San Juan County Council declared a state of emergency Friday as residents on San Juan, Lopez and Orcas islands dealt with spotty service or total outages.

The Seattle Times reported that initially, 911 emergency-response lines were down. Problems with cell-phone and Internet services as well as long-distance has lingered.

Repair crews cobbled together a temporary fix that is providing about 20 percent of the telephone capacity the county had before the cable failure. About 60 percent of the bandwidth for Web communications has been restored. The county says cell-phone service varies by location and provider.

CenturyLink says only a limited number of calls can go out or come into the island at a given time.

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