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OEC Fiber Blog


Know Your Downtime

While fiber stands out as the fastest, most reliable solution for rural broadband, occasional downtime is an inevitable part of the digital landscape. We can split these disruptions into two main categories: outages and maintenance. Let’s delve into the crucial distinctions between the two and shed light on why even the most robust fiber connections experience intermittent downtime.


I know what you’re thinking. If fiber is so reliable, it doesn’t need to be maintained. That is not the case. Routine network maintenance, like changing the oil in your car, helps stop problems before they start. Downtime caused by maintenance is something we know about in advance. We notify our members and subscribers of the maintenance ahead of time so nobody is caught off guard.

There are several reasons to do network maintenance. During our maintenance windows, we add security patches for network equipment, upgrade hardware for better performance and address any service issues we may have been having.

This work is usually done between midnight and 6 a.m. We do this because usage is typically lowest during this time. This helps minimize disruptions and get everyone back online.


Outages happen no matter how much work we do to keep our system in tip-top shape. This unscheduled downtime is caused by things outside of our control. It can be a car hitting a pole, storm damage or other unexpected events.

Outages are a top priority when they occur. Our fiber and electric crews are dispatched to the scene within minutes of it being reported and quickly work to assess the situation and restore services as quickly and safely as possible.

Since we do not have a way to predict an outage, we cannot send notifications ahead of the downtime. Large-scale outages, like one caused by a tornado, can take days to restore service to everyone. When this happens, we do our best to keep everyone updated with Facebook posts and messages on our website.

Being without your Wi-Fi or electricity is never fun, but it is unavoidable. Our team performs routine maintenance and notifies you beforehand to keep everything running smoothly. But when an outage happens, we race into action to get you back online as quickly as possible.

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