Sun Outages May Disrupt Services
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 10, 2009
SUN OUTAGES MAY DISRUPT CABLE TV, INTERNET AND SATELLITE-BASED TELEPHONE SERVICE
October 6 – October 19, 2009
WHAT: Sun outages may disrupt some services
WHEN: October 6 – October 19, 2009
The sun’s powerful rays may cause temporary disruption of satellite-provided cable television, Internet and long-distance telephone service October 6 through October 19, 2009, as the sun’s path takes it directly behind the satellite and in line with the antenna on the ground. The potential interruptions occur each year around the time of the equinoxes.
Customers may experience interruption to telephone calls to and from locations within Alaska, the Lower 49 states and international locations. Each outage could last up to 15 minutes, although the length of the outage will vary. Land-based services such as fiber optics and microwave are not affected by sun outages.
If a cable TV outage occurs, viewers will notice a slow degradation of picture for up to 10 minutes, followed by several minutes of total disruption. The picture then slowly clears.
These semi-annual interruptions, called sun outages or transits, affect all satellite-based communications. When the sun, satellite and Earth-based antenna line up, the noise energy from the sun is often greater than the communication signal level and may result in loss of signal.
GCI (NASDAQ: GNCMA) is the largest telecommunications company in Alaska. A pioneer in bundled services, GCI provides local, long distance and wireless telephone, cable television, Internet and data communications services throughout Alaska. More information about the company can be found at http://www.gci.com.