Chaffee sheriff: ‘Verizon 911 outage unacceptable’

Chaffee sheriff: ‘Verizon 911 outage unacceptable

Posted: Friday, September 8, 2017 2:51 pm

By Times/AVP staff

Internet, phone, cable TV and cell phone service were out locally for many Charter/Spectrum and Verizon customers from early Thursday afternoon to just after noon Friday.

Chaffee County Sheriff John Spezze lashed out at Verizon, citing an unacceptable loss of 911 emergency service with cellular phones.

In an email not delivered locally until services were restored early Friday afternoon, Speezze wrote, “I personally attempted numerous calls to 911 with my Verizon phone and at no time was I able to connect to 911, Chaffee County Communications Center nor did the calls roll over to another communications center in the region.

CenturyLink representative Karen Parry said Thursday that a third party cut a fiber optic cable. Services were disrupted in Fountain, Woodland Park and a small section of Pueblo.

Meagan Dorsch, media contact for Verizon Wireless said that Verizon and Charter/Spectrum share some fiber-optic networks provided by CenturyLink.

“I have been assured numerous times by Verizon Wireless that during a loss of service redundancy has been built into the system where we would be able to at the very minimum have 911 service during such outages. This is not true and at the time of this press release, 9:46 pm, I have no access to 911 services. …. This is unacceptable.”

“911 services are essential for the safety of our citizens and at no time should they be compromised. I will be in touch with Verizon management in regards to this matter as this is outrageous and must be addressed.”

Outages shut down many businesses in Buena Vista who could not process credit and debit card charges electronically, according to multiple reports.

The Chaffee County Times, and its sister paper The Mountain Mail, both rely on Charter services for telephone and internet services.

Times editor Dave Schiefelbein and Mountain Mail staff writer D.J. DeJong contributed to this report.

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