Maintenance hampers local Internet access, takes down local Web sites

Planned maintenance early today by Level 3 Communications, one of the vendors that provide Internet bandwidth to Sunflower Broadband, went awry Wednesday and hampered several local Web sites, including this one.

That unsuccessful maintenance led to hours-long Internet outages for Sunflower Broadband customers and prevented some users outside of the Sunflower Broadband network from accessing, and other World Company Web sites. Most users who subscribe to Sunflower Broadband were still able to access and other World Company sites, but some had intermittent access problems.

By Wednesday night, Internet service had been restored to most of the community, Sunflower said, though the fix was only a temporary one. Level 3 officials were still trying to identify the initial cause of the outage.

Rod Kutemeier, Sunflower Broadband General Manager, said Level 3 was one of three bandwidth providers for Sunflower Broadband. The other two continued working through the outage, but as bandwidth use peaked in the after-work hours, the two remaining Internet providers couldn’t handle the traffic load. Kutemeier said Level 3 became aware of the problem early Wednesday morning and spent most of the day looking for the cause.

Sunflower officials said the problem couldn’t be addressed at the local level, but only by Level 3.

Rob Hachey, senior director of sales for Level 3, did not return calls Wednesday evening.

Further updates on the status of will be provided here as they become available or from Sunflower Broadband directly via their Twitter account, @SFBroadband.