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Trailblazer Toolbox:  Internet Connectivity During Power Outages

Storms or cars colliding with an electrical cabinet can cause inconvenient electric outages. Trailblazer Broadband customers can stay connected and receive outage updates thanks to our modern fiber network. Customers must install a readily available Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to ensure uninterrupted internet service. A “battery in a box,” a UPS is a backup power supply for essential electronics to provide power for periods ranging from minutes to hours during a power outage. This device can provide backup power to your WiFi equipment during power outages, ensuring you stay connected to the internet even during an outage.

On the morning of Sunday, October 29th, galloping on the new Western Area Power Administration (WAPA) 115 kV transmission lines caused a system-wide outage. Line galloping occurs when temperature, wind, and ice combine, causing them to gallop or jump. If the lines touch each other, safeguard mechanisms called relays de-energize the lines to protect the grid from damage, resulting in an electrical outage. That morning, Journey Lineworkers from Estes Park Power and Communications and operators from Platte River Power Authority (PRPA) immediately got to work with WAPA to restore power. They restored power to Estes Park shortly after noon, and WAPA returned the new 115-thousand-volt lines to service later that day.

Many people wonder how they can stay connected to the internet during an electric outage. Trailblazer Broadband uses a modern Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) infrastructure. It is called “passive” because it does not rely on any electrically-powered equipment in the path between us and our customers. We have backup batteries in our offices for the network optics. Our customers must install a readily available Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) to ensure uninterrupted service. This device provides backup power to your electronics during power outages, ensuring you stay connected to the internet even during an outage. You must also connect other electronics, cell phones, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phones, or computers to the UPS. Many UPS products have multiple outlets, like a power strip, for other essential electronics in addition to your Gateway. The costs and capabilities of UPS backups vary greatly across various potential purchase options.

When considering a UPS purchase, first determine which devices besides your modem you may want to power during an outage, keeping in mind that some devices, such as TVs, take a great deal of power and will drain your UPS more quickly. Some devices may already have battery backups of their own. For example, Medical Device Uninterruptible Power Supply Systems (Medical Device UPS Systems) are designed to provide uninterrupted power precisely for your particular medical device. Most home security systems are programmed to switch to backup battery power during a power outage. In both of those examples, it is essential to double-check your system’s unique requirements. 

Power and Communications continuously work to improve reliability; however, we have all learned from experience that fires, floods, and severe weather happen, and it is advisable to have an emergency contingency plan for you and your technology! Trailblazer internet service combined with a UPS will allow you to access our public information maps to get outage information. Customers can also sign up for automated notifications and receive updates through text messaging. We continuously share information on our internet network reliability on our Trailblazer website. Go to, and click “Status” for the latest internet connectivity information.  

If you don’t have a UPS, you can follow these steps once power is restored to ensure that you’re connected and your fiber internet is working:

Trailblazer is here to help area residents prepare for the unexpected and know what to do to stay connected. 

Trailblazer Broadband is municipally owned and is Estes Park’s only modern fiber optic service, operated and maintained by Estes Park Power and Communications, formerly Light and Power. The Town of Estes Park provides information only and does not endorse any listed companies, their views, or the products/services they offer. For more information about internet service, contact Trailblazer Broadband at or (970)577-3770. More Trailblazer news is available at and

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