Nearly 50-thousand customers of Iowa Telecom have long-distance phone service once again after it was cut off for several hours Thursday. The phone company’s Dan Iness says some may not have noticed, as they could still make local telephone calls. Their long-distance calls were affected, their local calls were not. If affected 53-thousand lines in eastern Iowa and customers couldn’t place long-distance calls or, in many cases, receive them. The outage, apparently caused by someone cutting through a fiber-optic cable, covered a large geographical area of the state. From as far north as Delaware County down to Lee County, it included “a good portion of the state.” Innes explains most of Iowa Telecom’s customer base is smalltown and rural customers, noting they do not serve Davenport or Dubuque. Not only are many phone and powerlines buried these days but Innes says all fiber-optic cables are put underground.It’s the direction the tele-communications networks are going, he says, putting infrastructure underground so “you don’t have the wind snapping your cables.” If the phone company known who cut the cable, it’s not telling just now, saying investigation will be completed before any blame is assigned or charges considered. Innes would say private citizens as well as contractors must call “Iowa One-Call” any time they plan digging or other work that might put them into contact with utility lines.
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