Long distance calling in the Columbia River Gorge was interrupted for about 10 hours starting around 3 p.m. last Wednesday, Dec. 3, according to Sprint spokesman Tom Yates.
Cause of the outage was a cable cut of Sprint's main transmission line from The Dalles to Portland. A company crew repaired the fiberoptic cable and service returned shortly after 1 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 4.
The cut occurred between Cascade Locks and Warrendale in a swampy area, complicating the repair job, Yates noted.
"The interruption, while significant, was not a total outage as some calls and data circuits were able to leave the Gorge via Sprint's fiber and radio network, which leaves The Dalles and goes eastward where it joins a Qwest fiber cable near Condon," Yates added.
Approximately 40,000 customer lines were affected by the outage, along with some wireless service.
Among those impacted by the interruption were customers of Gorge Networks, the Hood River-based internet service provider (ISP).
Gorge Networks told its customers in an e-mail that the outage affected long distance phone calls and the ability to access the internet.
Broadband and dial-up customers were able to "surf Gorge.Net web sites and check their email," Gorge Networks informed, but all voice and data access from the mid-Columbia to the outside world was down.