Alaska town has no Internet after New Year’s Eve reveler shoots cables

Published January 10, 2014

| Associated Press

A New Year's tradition has left residents in the Interior Alaska community of Tanana off the grid.

The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reports the traditional way to ring in the new year is to shoot off guns at midnight on Jan. 1 in the Alaska Native community about 150 miles west of Fairbanks.

But this year, one or more revelers with .410-gauge shotguns shot out one of the town's main fiber-optic cables. The cable was strung about 20 feet high.

That has left the roughly 250 residents without Internet service. Officials are waiting for a part to arrive before service can be restored.

It's not known if the shooting was intentional or an accident. Ralph Eller owns the local cable company. He says: "You can't fix stupid."

Troopers are investigating.