Internet access was interrupted for the city of Bellingham for several hours on Tuesday morning, preventing users from opening the city’s main website and also preventing city employees from accessing their email.
Access to the Bellingham Public Library website also malfunctioned. The outage lasted from about 7 a.m. to about 10 a.m.
At least one Whatcom County government department’s site was malfunctioning, the Whatcom County Jail roster. The computerized dispatch system for law enforcement officers also was inoperative, according to radio conversations among patrol officers and dispatchers.
It was unknown whether the three instances were related.
Marty Mulholland, director of IT services for the city of Bellingham, said the city’s outage was linked to internet service provider Green House Data of Cheyenne, Wyoming, which has a Bellingham office.
Mulholland said other Bellingham-area sites were affected by the outage.
A Green House representative said the Bellingham outage stemmed from an internet on two primary circuits.
“This is extremely unusual, to have simultaneous outages,” said Wendy Fox, vice president of marketing at the Green House Data offices in Denver. She said internet traffic was routed through a third-party vendor as repairs were made to the damaged circuits – similar to how electricity is rerouted during a power outage.
Citing her company’s rules on business privacy, Fox could not discuss other Bellingham-area customers that were affected. She said local users could see slow internet service until repairs are complete.