Router Problem Causes Brief Internet Failure For State

Internet Went Down At 9:15 AM, Appeared Up By 11:40 AM

A router failure caused a brief statewide Internet outage Wednesday morning for all state computers, impacting the unemployment office and other state offices.

The outage occurred around 9:15 a.m., said Dara Hessee, Chief of Staff for the Governor's Office of Information Technology.

"We've identified the problem. It's related to router equipment in the data center," Hessee said. She would not disclose the location of the data center for security reasons.

For some reason, the backup system didn't work and the IT staff is still trying to figure out why, Hessee said.

She said an infrastructure team worked quickly to diagnose the problem but it took nearly 2½ hours to move to the backup system and get everything up and running again.

State systems that are Web based were not working and state websites were down in the interim, Hessee said.

An earlier check on the main Colorado website, colorado.gov, the unemployment office, the Secretary of State's Office, the U.S. District Court and the Department of Revenue came up with an error.

But by 11:40 a.m., the websites were up and running again.

"Yes, it's back up and running but the systems may be slow to start because all of the backlog," Hessee said.

Mark Couch, a spokesman for the Department of Revenue, said earlier that employees couldn't access their computers from individual desks but it's not impacting their operations because they don't rely on the Internet to process vehicle titles or driver's licenses.

"We use the Internet to check legal presence in country. That’s the only thing we rely on the Internet for and that’s a very small portion of the people coming in for driver’s license," Couch said.

Troopers also couldn't access crime databases from their cars so they had to radio dispatch for information.

"We provide critical services to citizens, 2½ hours isn't acceptable, so we'll do everything we can to ensure we never have an outage that lasts this long," Hessee said. "This is a huge issue for us."

7NEWS has been reporting frustrations with repeated state computer outages for years, from the unemployment office to the DMV. The problems have been with both server and hardware failures.

Hessee said this issue was different than previous issues.

"It's not related to antiquated computer system. This was a separate issue related to networking equipment," she said.

She said the state's IT office is doing an analysis to figure out what caused the crash to keep it from happening again.

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