Phone, internet problems fixed in Aspen and Valley after fiber line is cut
Echoing an incident more than two years ago, a CenturyLink fiber-optic line was cut Tuesday near Carbondale, knocking out much of the cellphone and internet service from Carbondale to Aspen.
Service was restored in Carbondale at about 11 p.m., and Pitkin County authorities most service was back shortly after midnight. All the phone lines were restored by 12:30 a.m..
A Pitkin County alert said that some cellular services and land lines at Aspen Valley Hospital were down, and some residents in Pitkin County were not able to call 911. The Sheriff’s Office had deputies and fire personnel staging at all fire stations in the county to maintain the public’s access to law, fire & EMS services.
Garfield County authorities issued no guidance to residents, but told the Post Independent that 911 service was operational if people’s phones are working.
“I do not know. Sorry,” Garfield County sheriff’s spokesman Walt Stowe said by email in response to Post Independent inquiries about whether 911 services were affected and what county residents should do if they can’t reach 911.
CenturyLink said technicians were worked on the repair.
“Due to a third-party fiber cut, customers in Aspen, Carbondale and Snowmass are experiencing disruptions to their Internet, phone and 911 services,” the company said by email shortly before 3:30 p.m. “In the event of an emergency, customers should try to reach the local police or fire station using their landline or cellphone and, if unsuccessful, should drive to the nearest fire station or hospital.”
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 south of Glenwood Springs.
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. CenturyLink told the PI that July that it had installed backup 911 circuits for Carbondale and Basalt.
“Since the outage in May, we have been working on ways to increase the capacity of our redundant circuits and paths in this difficult-to-serve but important area,” Mark Soltes, CenturyLink director of state legislative affairs for Colorado, said in a statement in July 2015.
“We have recently completed work to reroute 911 circuits as backup for Basalt and Carbondale so all four communities now have redundant service for 911 calls in case of future outages.”
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The steep Jail Trail that leads into downtown Aspen is getting a better grade to address safety concerns and make it easier for people to use.