[Audio] Without communications upgrades we could ‘actually die’; Humboldt’s last week of news

In the latest episode of Humboldt Last Week (4:55): (Warning: Explicit language) It’s in times of peril that we most need the ability to communicate. As wildfires south of us caused immense devastation, a seemingly preventable AT&T outage once again left Humboldt unable to call 911, get in touch with loved ones, make necessary connections online, and complete other crucial tasks.

According to this Loco article, a couple of years ago AT&T promised they’d do the work to prevent these mass outages. That work was supposed to be done by the end of last year. Clearly that didn’t happen.

“…The telecom failure here isn’t a first world problem, it’s almost the definition of a developing world problem,” said local citizen Eli Rohl. “…It’s not that hard to run some fucking cables. It costs money that some people are too cheap to spend because they think we’re not worth the effort…(Without upgrades) we could actually die…”

In the podcast you can hear Rohl’s full scathing self-described “rant,” an analysis of AT&T’s explanation, some additional information from the Times Standard, and much more.

The story begins at 4:55.

Disclaimer: Rohl is a friend and coworker of this writer.

Also covered

Grave desecration in Trinidad, more reported rapes at HSU, crime coverage, Humboldt’s most adorable kid of the week, an update on a man allegedly lit on fire in Arcata, advice for those pointing lasers at aircraft, faith in humanity restoration, and other top stories from Humboldt’s last week.

Humboldt Last Week is a way to hear highlights from Humboldt’s last week a news. It’s available on iTunes, SoundCloud, top podcast platforms, and at kymkemp.com.

David Becher, flickr Creative Commons

  • Laytonville Rock


  • AT&T has a poor corporate culture towards its customers and always has. And frankly our politicians allow them to get away with this arrogance.

    It may be unjustified but I can’t help thinking that even our own reps think that most of us living here are less than important unless we serve as some sort of fodder for their agendas.
    Why, for example, do they continually support legislation and regulation that increases rural problems in order to create some magic fix for urban areas? South wants more water, they vote to take it from us and for us to help pay for it. PG&E wants to reduce rates for the south and increase them in the north? Well let them.

    Politics is negotiation. Yet our own negotiators are not in our corner. They have their own seperate wants. I do not expect them to always succeed in getting what we ALL need. But they should always remember who is working for whom in this relationship.

  • Why can’t they run the wires under ground? I don’t understand the in’s and out’s of this but to me it makes sense in the long run and in the long run it would save money. Who’s in pocket here?

    • Yo! Sup Rose! -Ian

      I think the fiber cables are underground, and may have been bull dozed, But you’d think they’d be deeper. Maybe they go above ground down South, or where hung under an overpass that got blasted.
      The big issue is all the power lines above ground. I bet it will be shown that these fires were almost all the result of electrical transmission lines coming down in high winds…starting fires right in front of high winds=bad. PG&E needs to make sure this doesn’t happen again. Either toughen up the infrastucture, or bury it. I think Germany buried all their utilities.

      • The fiber optic cable is above ground through Myers Flat….but we have no access to it. Thank your lame ass sold out supervisor(s) for all their help.
        BRIDGEVILLE has internet access, but right on 101, nope.😞

  • Remember Lily Tomlin’s routine decades ago? “Hello. This is the phone company. Oh, you have a problem? Well, we don’t care bec we don’t have to! ” AT&T offered her 10k thirty years ago to stop satirizing them. She laughed.

  • Take a moment to file a complaint online with the FCC against ATT:

    And call the county Board of Supervisors and ask them to file a complaint with the FCC. 707-476-2390

    Then write to Governor Brown here: https://govapps.gov.ca.gov/gov39mail/

    And ask him to also bring up ATT’s treatment of the North Coast with the FCC.

    Should take about 5 minutes of your day, and will help draw attention to the situation. ATT should not be getting away with this.

  • This is due to the PUC, our state officials, our local county supervisors and our regulators not requiring this be done. Not looking out for us, the small people. We can’t accept what these companies say or promise.
    Only heavy, heavy penalties or jail terms, is what they will listen to.

    For example, here in southern Humboldt, we have fiber bundles going right by Pratt mountain ( major telecomm), Garberville, Redway, and every town north to Eureka. But we have no fiber connections except up north in Eureka area. Why is that? Who allowed them to bypass us? Who got bought off?

    I’ve been in small towns roughly the size of Garberville with fiber to every home. They are getting internet for $50 per month, 100 mb download speed, unlimited data per month. Compare that with any and all of our existing internet providers.

    No this isn’t ATT’s fault. Don’t blame them. Blame our public officials and hold them accountable.
    Don’t waste your time calling ATT, call your supervisors bombard them with calls!!!!!!!!

    Rex Bohn 476-2391
    Estelle Fennell 476-2392
    Mike Wilson 476-2393
    Virgina Bass 476-2394
    Ryan Sundburg 476-2395

  • Die because of lake of internet or phone!?this makes up most of the planet. Bring on the emp or solor flares. The best thing to save Mother Earth is no electricity. Just my 2 cents…

  • I must be running hard toward elderly. Because the first thing I think is…none of us gets out of here alive. We will die, the best we can hope for is painlessly. Secondly, I think the best redundancy would not rely on the same type of technology, but on another type. So instead of two fiber optics lines, how about a fiber optic​, several phone lines​ of the old fashioned variety, a cb radio and a short wave radio??
    Why do we get stuck being dependent?

    • Because we are government shaped snowflakes who will turn in our guns and relie on our smart phones to save us. Thats why

  • Change the name From AT&T to Frontier & and Ditto for Mendocino!

  • Diesel DRW - Curb Weight 7762 lbs

    Two words, Humboldt County… Satellite internet. Works great in Redway, and works in Hoopa too! X-cept when your dish gets too much snow on it! Expensive, but worth it! Also see: wifi calling!

    ATT sucks!

  • Give us the air back

    If they would reactivate satellite phone lines, this could be remedied. All emergency personnel used to have them in most locations until the FCC took the frequencies back. Old car phones used to be satellite as well.

  • AT&T dearly wants to get out of the copper business; forcing the lot of us onto wobbly digital networks that are cheaper to put up. Both Verizon cell and AT&T landline went down in Willits . . . Digital lines are also easier to give access to government agents who desire to tap your voice/data/internet/email/texting/etc. without the bothersome necessities like, um, say, maybe, a warrant or something. The phone company is NOT your friend; no matter how much they pretend to be.

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