Connecticut was left suffering network outages after six cables connected to a state data center were crushed under a falling transformer.
The power line damaged the cables along Poquonnock Road and Johl Drive in the town of Groton, over the weekend. The line, when operational, connected residents throughout the state to a government data center sited on a Pfizer campus in the town.
Residents were unable to connect to any state-operated services such as the DMV or electoral websites. The network is now back up and operational.
Sue Larsen, president of the Registrar of Voters Association of Connecticut, told journalists (NBC CT): “We would not have been able to register any of the online or DMV registrations or if we had registration cards we would not have been able to put them in the system. We’re still weeks away from the election so it’s not a major issue. The registrars weren’t too impacted by it because it’s a long weekend in most towns."
Connecticut CIO Mark Raymond confirmed the fault that brought down Connecticut's data center was a transformer falling in the Groton area. The Groton data center was established back in 2015 and the state used the Carlin Construction Company to build the 9,000 sq m (96,000 sq ft) facility. A total of $23m was spent on outfitting the data center along with a secondary backup location.
The facility’s cabling and interconnectivity are taken care of by Frontier Communications, a telco that specializes in rural networking.
The outage follows a similar story in Pennsylvania where an equipment failure brought low several state-run services and saw voters in the runup to the US presidential election in November temporarily unable to register.
Poor weather in Connecticut has been attributed to various outages throughout the state last week. Almost 30,000 people were left in the dark high winds knocked out power lines on October 7.