By CHRIS AGEE
Widespread communication outages were reported throughout Mineral Wells Thursday. Residents, businesses, and agencies of all stripes faced varied difficulties as a result of cell phone, landline, Internet, and cable interruptions.
An AT&T employee who requested anonymity confirmed crews working along U.S. Highway 180 East between
Mineral Wells and Weatherford cut a fiber-optic cable line.
According to John Richardson of the city’s Information Technologies Department, two separate outages were reported – shortly before midnight Wednesday and around 9 a.m. Thursday.
He said residents reported a variety of services had either been suspended or significantly limited. AT&T and SuddenLink were among the two providers most commonly cited as deficient, he added.
Richardson added the two events were likely related, though he did not speculate as to the cause or duration of the outages.
SuddenLink General Manager Raymond Greenwood said the company leases fiber-optic cables from AT&T and is dependent on its service. He could not offer any insight aside from the observation a line had apparently been cut.
“I’ve seen it take hours [to repair],” he said, “because you couldn’t find the cut.”
Since the cables are leased and not under SuddenLink’s control, Greenwood said he did not have much more information than the average consumer.
“We’re the customer like you are,” he said.
Nearly everyone in the city experienced some level of inconvenience due to the outage.
City Administrator Peggy Gustin said she fielded many citizen complaints Thursday morning, noting people were unable to send or receive calls through various providers. She explained her cellular and home phones were not functioning but phone service in her office was.
Additionally, while there was extremely limited Internet access, she said reports from south of town showed residents there were able to get online.