Phone service has been restored in a couple of eastern Iowa communities where customers found this morning that they couldn’t “reach out” very far. Qwest spokeswoman Joanna Hjelmeland says the problem was traced to a contractor.
About 9 A.M., she says a fiber-optic line was cut at a site where construction was going on in DeWitt, and it affected service in Clinton and Maquoketa. She couldn’t say how many people in all were affected, but some customers probably didn’t notice the outage.
Local calls were going through, and only long-distance calls were affected. The phone company set to work to restore service and the outage lasted till about two P.M. The phone company’s going back now to look at just what happened.
By law, construction companies must contact “Iowa One-Call” to have utilities including phone lines marked so their digging or other work won’t disturb or damage those services. Hjelmeland says it’s too early to tell whether the phone company will ask the contractor to pay damages for cutting the phone line.