Major fiber optic outage affects state

August 31, 2018

SCOTTSBLUFF — A major tele-communication fiber cable has been cut in eastern Nebraska.

A construction company working on bridges in eastern Nebraska cut the fiber line, which has affected many areas across the state. In western Nebraska the cut has created a variety of telephone issues in the area.

Most services have been restored, but there are still some issues.

“We scrambled to get things going, but we’re back up to the basics,” said Ray Richards, Scotts Bluff County communications director. “We can receive calls on our non-emergency platform.”

The communications center cannot transfer or make any calls at the moment, but continue to work to solve the problem.

For those in the community, long distance telephone calls are still failing sporadically. Some people can complete their calls while others are rerouted or not completed at all. There are still FAX lines in and out of the county campus that are not working.

Emergency 911 services have remained on line with no interruptions.

“At no time during this event did we ever lose the ability to take 911 calls,” Richards said.

The Scotts Bluff County Communications Center activated their back up system, which is helping keep basic services on line. Regional West Medical Center and Valley Ambulance remained connected to the communications center through their network radio system.

Banks in town have reported telephone problems as well.

The major telephone providers in the area, CenturyLink and ALLO, have been experiencing trouble and are working to resolve the outage.

“We’re working in concert with each other,” Richards said.

If customers have a traditional copper line, they should have no issues. The issue is with the fiber lines.

“Everyone has a mix and match in their buildings,” he said. “As people meet up, they will hear across the spectrum as to whether their lines were fine.”

A large area of the state has been affected with Kearney and North Platte taking the biggest hit. As of press time, Bridgeport, Bayard, Alliance, Box Butte County, Sidney, Potter and Cheyenne County were reporting no issues.

Richards reminded the public that 911 is for emergencies only and to not call to find out when services will be restored.

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