CenturyLink fiber-optic line cut knocks out phones, internet in greater Aspen, CO

Oct. 12, 2017
Aspen Valley Hospital was reportedly among the impacted entities.

Staff reporting from Colorado's Post Independent (PI) news site notes that "echoing an incident more than two years ago, a CenturyLink fiber-optic link was cut on Tuesday (Oct. 10) near Carbondale, knocking out much of the cellphone and internet service from Carbondale to Aspen for several hours. Service was restored in Carbondale at about 11 p.m., and Pitkin County authorities said service was back shortly after midnight."

In an email shortly before 3:30 p.m., after service had been out about two hours, CenturyLink issued a statement saying, " “Due to a third-party fiber cut, customers in Aspen, Carbondale and Snowmass are experiencing disruptions to their internet, phone and 911 services. Customers should try to reach the local police or fire station using their landline or cell phone and, if unsuccessful, should drive to the nearest fire station or hospital. Technicians are working to restore services as quickly as possible.”

KDNK radio in Carbondale said on its Facebook page that it appeared the source of the outage was a line cut on County Road 109 before Coryell Ranch, about 2 miles north of Carbondale. In May 2015, a similar incident caused half of the Roaring Fork Valley lose 911 service for more than 16 hours in May when a contractor cut a CenturyLink fiber-optic line near Ironbridge. According to the reporting, "in that instance, it turned out that the backup circuit was routed through the same bundle of cable, the Post Independent learned through an open records request."

Aspen Valley Hospital was reportedly among the impacted entities. CenturyLink told the PI that July that it had installed backup 911 circuits for Carbondale and Basalt.

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