By Ron VandenBoom
About 1,500 internet customers of Stellar Computer and Consulting Corp. have temporarily lost their Internet service due to up-grades to Stellars up-line service provider, InterMountain Internet in Helena.
The outage also affects about 500 customers in the Shelby, Conrad and Cut Bank area who also have connections through Stellars ISPs in that region, said Dave Biggar, vice president of the Havre-based corporation.
Biggar said Stellar was aware there was going to be an outage, but did not expect it to come without notice and to last so long.
We were actually given about a three-day window of when this was supposed to occur, said Biggar. We did not get a call right before it happened.
Biggar said he contacted InterMountain in Helena the moment he learned the Internet had gone down only to find out they had given him the wrong IP addresses for their modems.
InterMountain Biggar said has changed their up-stream provider to provide faster service. That meant they had to have different IP addresses, Biggar said.
The easiest way to explain it is that the bridge between here and the rest of the world has been washed out, said Corporation President David Shaw. Weve changed everything on our end, so it should work. As soon as that bridge is rebuilt everything should work.
Biggar said Stellar is now checking the connection with InterMountain every two to three minutes to see if they can connect.
When its up, he said, Ill probably know before they let me know.
Biggar said he is hoping the senior administrator in Helena finds the problem quickly so they can get back on-line, but it is impossible for him to predict how long it will take Helena to solve their problem.
If the problem is of the nature I think it is, Bigger said, it really shouldnt take them long to fix it. But potentially it could we are completely at somebody elses mercy.
Biggar said the average customer should be able to see a little bit of an improvement in the speed and performance of Internet connections, especially between here and the east coast, once InterMountain gets them reconnected.
Youre not going to notice an extreme change ... you might notice a little though, Biggar said.