Citywide network outage disrupts services on Oahu

HONOLULU (AP) — A moved wire at a Honolulu municipal building caused a network outage, halting services at satellite city halls and state driver’s licensing centers, officials said.

The city’s computer network went down Monday morning, disrupting all city operations that rely on the network. Most of the city systems were restored by the end of the work day.

The city lost all network equipment, telephone, storage, servers and mainframe systems shortly after 9 a.m., officials said. The city hosts vehicle licensing and registration network services for three other Hawaii counties, resulting in a multi-island outage for those services.

“Within the city, we cannot email or get to our file storage, so for all practical purposes, we are without computing services,” city Department of Information Technology Director Mark Wong told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.

The city’s 911 system and other emergency services were not affected.

Most of the city systems were back online by about 4:30 p.m. Monday.

The city attributed the outage to human error. Vendors were upgrading a fire suppressant system in the basement of the Frank F. Fasi Municipal Building when they “pulled or loosened a wire,” Wong said.

The moved wire signaled the power systems to shut down and tripped the backup systems, which failed as the battery power ran out.

“We have secondary backup systems in place, so those took over and provided battery power for a short period until those eventually ran out, at which point everything went down,” Wong said.

The system was falsely alerted to a fire threat, automatically cutting power for safety reasons.

Building generators would have powered the system if there was a power outage, but the batteries were drained because city power was still working, Wong said.