Service being restored after Carbondale-Aspen telecom outage |

Service being restored after Carbondale-Aspen telecom outage

Staff Report
CenturyLink crews on the evening of May 26 assess damage to a fiberoptic cable near Ironbridge subdivsion. The incident caused widespread cell, landline and Internet outages in upper Roaring Fork Valley.
Will Grandbois / Post Independent |

Verizon mobile phone service and at least some Internet service in the Roaring Fork Valley was restored shortly after 9 a.m. today as crews worked to repair a fiber-optic cable severed late Tuesday afternoon.

The mishap cut cell service, land lines as well as some Internet service from Carbondale to Aspen after a contractor cut the line late Tuesday afternoon near the Ironbridge subdivision.

A repair crew that worked through the night found more damage this morning, Sara Spaulding, media relations manager for Century Link, said at 7 a.m.

The outage started at about 5 p.m. Tuesday, when “a third party contract out there digging … cut the cable,” Spaulding said.

Most phone service remained out in the region this morning, and Internet depended on the provider. Service through Century Link appeared to generally be down; Comcast’s Xfinity service was up.

Pitkin County sent out several emergency alerts Tuesday evening following widespread phone and Internet outages that begin in Aspen earlier in the day. Pitkin County’s message to residents with emergencies was to go to the nearest police or fire station if 9-1-1 calls weren’t going through.

Garfield County dispatch said Tuesday evening that emergency 911 service was down in Carbondale, although some calls were getting through. Carbondale Deputy Fire Chief Rob Goodwin told KDNK radio Tuesday evening that anyone with an emergency in the Carbondale or other affected areas who can’t get through should contact a police officer directly or go to the local police or fire station.

Spaulding said the outage was in Aspen, Carbondale, Basalt, El Jebel and Snowmass.

Some calls could also be made via land lines between Carbondale’s 963 and 704 exchanges.

In Carbondale, whether businesses were open Wednesday morning was pretty much luck of the draw, depending on whether its point-of-sale system was up.

The popular Village Smithy restaurant had posted a sign saying “cash preferred,” but because of experience with outages, had kept its credit card imprint machine. “We’re kind of an old-fashioned establishment,” said Laura Mahr, a Smithy manager. “We have the common sense to get through it without technology.”

Bonfire Coffee had Comcast service.

“The first question has been, ‘Do you have Internet?’ and we can happily say yes.” said Bonfire manager Tamara Haynes-Norton.

Some industry was wholly unaffected; a cattle drive went through Carbondale from east to west shortly before 7 a.m.