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Navigating Cable Line Vandalism in Tacoma, Washington: What You Need to Know

Emerging digital trends usually mean faster technology, new tools to boost productivity, and exciting opportunities for your business. However, the most recent tech trend in Tacoma, Washington, is both bizarre and alarming.

Recently, vandals in the Tacoma area have been targeting cable and power lines. Vandals are cutting the lines and stealing them, leaving businesses in the area without internet for days. Two AngelCom customers were recently without service for an extended period of time. Could you go about business as usual without your internet connection? The answer is probably not.

Fortunately, there are ways you can protect yourself from this concerning crime. Here’s everything you need to know about cable line vandalism in Tacoma.

What’s Happening

Vandals are targeting cable, electric, and fiber optic lines throughout Pierce and King County. So far, these incidents have been concentrated in densely populated communities, including Tacoma and neighboring Tukwila, reaching as far as Gig Harbor.

While there have been several such incidents, the most severe occurred in June of this year when vandals cut a fiber optic line in Tukwila. The damage resulted in a Comcast and Xfinity service outage that impacted Tukwila, Burien, Renton, Kent, and as far as Gig Harbor. Fortunately, service crews were able to restore internet connectivity by the end of the day.

However, had vandals made off with some of the cables, restoring service would have taken much longer. The good news is there are things your business can do to minimize the likelihood of an outage of this kind.

How You Can Help Prevent Internet Disruptions

In the age of cloud computing, your internet connection is your company’s lifeline. Without it, productivity grinds to a screeching halt, and you become unable to serve your customers.

That’s why you need to be proactive about protecting your internet connectivity. Here are some tips to get you started.

1.   Diversify Your Internet Sources

Don’t put all your digital eggs in one basket. Diversifying your internet sources can provide a backup in case your primary service provider faces an outage. Consider these alternatives:

  • Starlink: Provided by SpaceX, this satellite internet service offers high-speed broadband connectivity globally
  • DSL (Digital Subscriber Lines): DSL uses your phone line for internet connectivity; it’s not as fast as fiber, but it can keep you up and running during outages
  • Cable Modems: A cable modem backup can help maintain continuity if your DSL or fiber services go down

All three of these backup solutions are cost-effective and can save you thousands in lost productivity during a prolonged outage. See which options are available in your area and decide which one best suits your internet needs.

2.   Invest in Redundant Connections

Consider implementing a redundant internet connection. This means setting up a secondary connection that kicks in if your primary connection fails. Any of the above solutions can serve as your redundant connection.

3.   Use Mobile Hotspots

Mobile hotspots can be a lifesaver in a pinch. Most modern smartphones can create a Wi-Fi hotspot using cellular data. While not ideal for long-term use or data-heavy tasks, they can keep essential tech running during forced downtime.

You may also want to invest in dedicated hotspots so you don’t have to use your smartphone’s Wi-Fi. Your provider might be able to add a few hotspots to your current plan for next to nothing.

4.   Plan for Offline Operations

Develop a contingency plan for how your business can operate offline. This might include alternative methods for processing transactions, manual record-keeping systems, and pre-arranged communication plans with clients and staff.

Make sure your staff is well-trained and ready to employ your offline backup tools. Having an offline operations plan in place won’t do much good if no one knows how to use your analog resources.

Don’t Get Caught Unprepared

Unfortunately, the Tacoma, Washington, cable line vandalism trend doesn’t look like it will end anytime soon. With that in mind, you must take a proactive approach to protecting your business continuity.

If you aren’t sure where to begin, connect with an experienced Tacoma managed services provider today to schedule an IT assessment.

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