Cause of State Data Center Outage Still Under Investigation

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State officials said this past weekend, a fiber optic cable that feeds the state of Connecticut data center in Groton suffered an outage and knocked some state agencies partially offline.

“We would not have been able to register any of the online or DMV registrations or if we had registration cards we would not have been able to put them in the system,” Sue Larsen, president of the Registrar of Voters Association of Connecticut, said.

That’s because one of the agencies taken offline was the secretary of the state’s office and with it some of the voter registration system used by towns. 

 “We’re still weeks away from the election so it’s not a major issue,” Larsen said. 

“The registrars weren’t too impacted by it because it’s a long weekend in most towns," she said.

Larsen said she’s confident the registrars will be able to catch up when they return to the office on Tuesday.

“There was a transformer malfunction in the Groton area and our data lines for some of our connections that share the pole with that transformer were damaged,” Connecticut’s Chief Information Officer Mark Raymond said. 

The other state agency partially knocked offline was the Department of Public Protection and Emergency Services, which includes the state police.

“We were notified that we had 43 secretary of the state locations and 10 state police locations that had some of their communications disrupted,” Raymond said. 

Raymond said there was never any danger to the public.

“Our state police have several different ways of communicating with each other and the public. And in this case, would have wireless communication backups, so mobile devices and the laptops in their cruisers to be able to communicate," Raymond said.

As far as election security is concerned, Raymond said there are backups for the voter registration system.

“Voter registration is the primary system and that runs in our data center and has cloud-based backups for that,” Raymond said.

Frontier Communications said the cause of the outage is still under investigation.

“An electric utility power line fell onto and damaged six telecommunication cables near Poquonnock Road and Johl Drive in Groton, causing service disruption to Frontier Communications customers. Frontier crews responded quickly, continue working diligently and expect to finish repairs tonight. We thank our customers for their patience as our crews work to safely complete repairs and restore services,” Javier Mendoza, vice president of communications, said.

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