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The guilty party: One power pole takes out networks across Spokane Valley, N. Idaho

View Larger Map The company that operates a large network of fiber-optic cable for Spokane and North Idaho business customers said it could be midnight on Tuesday before their Internet service returns.

Shelly Mills, a spokesperson for the Spokane office of Zayo Enterprises, said it might be that long, following a car crash early Tuesday that knocked over a utility pole in northeast Spokane County.

That pole, in the accompanying Google StreetView image, is at the intersection of Starr Road and Wellesley.

It's not clear how many businesses use the fiber that is hung on that pole.

The black lines on the pole are fiber-optic lines. The other mess of wires are for phone and electric power.

The white conduit on the left of the pole brings fiber down into the buried vault on the ground.

Zayo provides both "lit" and dark fiber for customers.

Zayo spokesman Glenn Russo, based in Colorado, said fiber carriers choose to either use poles or bury lines under ground. “You end up picking your poison,” he said. Aerial lines are more frequently broken than buried lines. “But they’re also much easier to fix, by nature of being in the open,” he said.

Another story, to be posted later at, will add information on the specific companies impacted.

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Tom Sowa
Tom Sowa covers technology, retail and economic development and writes the Office Hours blog.