SHOW LOW — Sparklight customers across northern Arizona lost their connection to the internet Sunday afternoon.

With the loss of internet, people and business were without internet access, phone, cable television and even emergency services. The widespread outage that started late Sunday morning due to a cut optical fiber cable between Yarnell and Prescott. Sparklight is not sharing how the cable was disconnected.

On their website and Twitter, Sparklight kept customers informed. Their first statement at 12:51 p.m. Sunday was, “Outage Alert: Customers in Northern Arizona are currently without phone, cable, and internet services. Our technicians are working to restore services as quickly as possible. We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your continued patience.”

At 4 p.m. they reported the fiber cable was cut and by 7 p.m. they reported, “Sparklight partners with a vendor on the primary backbone circuit that runs through Arizona. The fiber cut occurred on the vendor’s fiber, located between Yarnell and Prescott. Due to the terrain in this area, the vendor continues to work to isolate the precise location of the fiber so they can begin splicing the fiber in order to restore services.”

By 8:20 p.m. Sunday, a “temporary” repair was completed and most of Northern Arizona again had internet services.

“Our vendor was able to reroute traffic to restore services until permanent repairs are completed.” Sparklight posted online.

The last widespread major Sparklight outage occurred on Nov. 14, 2020, when a backhoe unaffiliated with Sparklight and its service provider was reportedly doing construction work in Phoenix and inadvertently cut a conduit as well as a 288-strand and 72-strand fiber cable at 107th Avenue and Indian School Road. That outage lasted most of the day for more that 69,000 Sparklight customers in Prescott, Prescott Valley, Chino Valley, Paulden, Dewey-Humboldt, Mayer, Cottonwood, Show Low, Pinetop, Navajo County, Snowflake, Taylor, Winslow, Holbrook and Joseph City.

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(3) comments


What got me was the Verizon internet also was unresponsive. Or maybe just everyone using that instead of Sparklight killed that too?

When I was more active in the industry, it was always stressed to eliminate the single point of failure. Yet every major outage there seems to be no redundant services or backups? Is it just the greed of the industry that allows them to cut corners? Or is it actually not wanting to provide top notch services?


Surely everyone would agree there should be a backup with the importance of internet service these days. Regarding Verizon's slowness, I was told it was because of high traffic due to the internet outage. My response: if Verizon service is that much affected now, what can we look forward to when the population doubles in the summer "on the mountain?" No answer.


They are and have been working on a redundant path to prevent this in the future but Rome wasn't built in a day. The terrain between show low and the valley isn't as easy of a path as the road. Major upgrades take major time.

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