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April 29, 2013 9:20 am

Area phone service restored after outage

Written by Tribune Staff

Some Powell and Cody residents were without landline, cellular or Internet service from about 9:15 a.m. to 4 p.m. today (Monday) as a result of a cut fiber line. The Park County Sheriff's Office announced shortly before 4 p.m. that full service had been restored.

While the outage was being dealt with, Park County Sheriff Scott Steward had asked citizens to only call his office or Cody police if they had an emergency.

"Some areas as well as some cellular telephone services are still functional, but Park County's primary 911 lines have been effected," said sheriff's office spokesman Lance Mathess in a 10 a.m. news release.

Mathess said telecommunications providers AT&T, CenturyLink and Union Wireless were being affected.

Spokeswomen for AT&T and CenturyLink said their outages were due to a cut in a fiber optic line owned by a third-party company that both providers use.

Michelle Jackson of CenturyLink said the company has been working to restore service since the outage began, around 9:15 a.m.

"Residents should be able to make long-distance phone calls," Jackson said around 2 p.m. Monday. "We have had some congestion issues because of having to reroute those (calls), so about a third who try to call out right now outside of Cody or Powell long-distance may get an error message and have to try again.

"But we are anticipating that the Internet and everything will be completely restored and back to normal by 6 p.m. tonight," she said.

"We're working with the third-party to restore service as quickly as possible and apologize to our customers for this inconvenience," AT&T spokeswoman Suzanne Tranton said in an early Monday afternoon email to the Tribune.

AT&T service came back on Powell cell phones around 3:20 p.m.

Mathess described the outage as affecting "all of Park County as well as Big Horn County." CenturyLink's Jackson said to her knowledge, only Powell and Cody customers were being impacted.

Jackson said the company restored some 911 service through re-routing at about 9:49 a.m.

Matthess described the outage as having taken down Powell Police Department's 911 service, with Powell area 911 calls being rerouted to dispatchers to the Park County Sheriff's dispatch center in Cody. There, only one 911 line and one telephone line were available, Mathess said. The Park County dispatch center in Cody typically dispatches calls not only for the sheriff's office, but also for Cody police, West Park ambulance and the county's fire departments, while the Powell center handles calls for Powell police and Powell Valley Healthcare's ambulance service.

The Powell Police Department's non-emergency phone line, 754-2212, is provided by TCT West and was unaffected during the outage, said Powell Police Chief Roy Eckerdt. CenturyLink provides the 911 lines in Powell and Cody.

1 Comment

  • Comment Link April 29, 2013 12:57 pm posted by Sandra Bird

    That would explain why my phone is not working! I am with At&T and my cell phone has been down all morning! I thought it was just me.

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