Why did Telecoms Fail during the Firestorm, and what are the Solutions?

One of the bigger shocks of the Redwood Complex Fire was the collapse of both landline and cell phone service and internet in Willits and other areas distant from the fire zone.

On Mendocino Works on Wednesday 15 November at 7 p.m., we investigated what caused these cascading outages, asked what you can do to prepare for the next disaster, and exploreed what local firms are doing to improve telecoms in a rural region that the big companies prefer to ignore.

Three guests joined the conversation:

  • Trish Steel, chairman of the Broadband Alliance of Mendocino County, who shared preliminary results of a four-county survey she organized to measure fire-related telecom performance,

  • Jacob Turner, operations manager of Seakay Internet, who inspected damaged telecommunications infrastructure during and after the fires,

  • Sage Statham, general manager of Mendocino Community Network, a locally owned Internet service provider that recently began rolling out telephone service in Mendocino and Fort Bragg.

Torrey Douglass