The Storm of 2023

The Storm of 2023

The Storm of 2023

During severe storms, Surfnet employees worked tirelessly to restore service to customers

Recent torrential storms wreaked havoc in our local communities, causing flooding, mudslides, and downed trees, some of which affected Surfnet customers on the SLO and Santa Cruz County networks.Surfnet describes how their remote monitoring system and response time met the needs of most of their customers following reports of decreased bandwidth speeds and an inability to connect to the internet.

Site damage

Surfnet’s engineering department worked tirelessly in the pouring rain, searching for open roads and clearing fallen trees to create paths that would allow them to restore services after the storm damaged major backhaul links and site-specific access points. Engineers responded quickly to a power outage in San Luis Obispo County’s village of Shandon caused bywater damage to power supply cables. They replaced damaged equipment and restored power to the site despite strong winds and rain.The service provided to theSummit area and San Lorenzo Valley in Santa Cruz County was alsodisrupted due to a redwood tree falling and crushing some vital equipment, which Surfnet engineers quickly removed and repaired within a day. This happened twice in the span of two days!Furthermore, some customers’ antennas were knocked out of alignment by wind, and Surfnettechnicians were able to get them back online in 48 hours, which in many cases, was faster than theirwireline competitors.

Road damage and closures

Surfnet customers who live on roads affected by slides or fallen trees were hampered by the storm, but Surfnet’s internet services enabled these customers to work from home, avoiding dangerous roads, while also accessing vital information when cell phones and landlines went down.


The service provided to the Huasna Townsite community in San Luis Obispo County was heavilyimpacted. The solar-powered site was unable to maintain charge due to a lack of sun, and was rendered inaccessible to recovery engineers because of a massive washout of a creek bed that lay directly in the path of access to the site. Recovery engineers were able to hand-build an off-road vehicle bridge, restoring access and service to the site!For the duration of the emergency recovery operations, other locations were also impacted by dynamically changing road closures. Access to the Linne Community site was nearly impossible due to damaged roads (Cripple Creek Road, Creston Road, Stagecoach Road, and Linne Road). The CalTrans repair team granted access to recovery engineers to restore power to the site once the road conditions were deemed safe.

Working together as a team

Surfnet employees worked long hours to get customers back online. Sales and marketing assisted with phone and tech support, and engineers assisted by taking jobs at customers’ homes when they weren’t repairing towers.

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