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Sprint network out in Oregon, Minnesota, and Washington (Update: Outages in California, Sprint claims fixed)

Sprint users have taken to Twitter with the a fiery passion as the network has reported sizable outages in Minnesota, Oregon, and Washington. Perhaps most inconvenienced by the occurrence is Seattle-based Alaska Airlines, as it is unable to check in passengers. Flights are currently delayed as Sprint attempts to sort out the issue.

Update 10/8/2012 3:40pm by AJ Dellinger: As it turns out, the outage have been more widespread than we thought. In a statement to CNET, a Sprint representative said that the outages were felt in Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, and California. The largest areas to lose talk and data access include Tacoma and Seattle, Washington; San Francisco and Sacramento, California; Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Portland, Oregon. Sprint has confirmed to Reuters that a wire was cut during maintenance on a railroad between Chicago and Milwaukee. The cause of the cut that has been located between Tacoma, Washington and Portland, Oregon is still being investigated. According to Sprint representative Crystal Davis, service has been restored to affected customers as of 3:30pm PST.

A statement issued by Sprint to TechCrunch, a fiber cut somewhere in the Pacific Northwest is responsible for the outage. How exactly one cut fiber can take down a network, we do not know. Differing reports come from Alaska Airlines, as it has stated the wire was cut in Wisconsin. One theory (my theory) is this is a continuation of the finger pointing that took place after the questionable Seattle Seahawks victory over the Green Bay Packers, but there is no truth to it.

While details are sparse, a few things do appear to be known: At least one fiber optic wire was cut and resulted in the wide-spread outages that transcend a single region and Sprint is desperately trying to solve the problem. According to the Associated Press, connection has been resorted for Alaska Airlines. The company had switched to manual check-ins in hopes of getting its passengers to their destinations. It is warning that there are likely still delays expected. We’ll have more as it develops.

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