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Damaged fiber cable blamed for phone outages across mid-Missouri

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UPDATE 6:30 p.m.: A CenturyLink spokeswoman said crews restored all services to Mid-Missouri customers Monday. The same company official said the fiber line was cut by a construction crew in Kansas City.

UPDATE 1:00 p.m.: Widespread telephone service outages were reported across Mid-Missouri Monday after CenturyLink notified the public about a cut fiber line.

A spokesperson for CenturyLink issued a statement to ABC 17 News via email. 

"CenturyLink technicians are working to resolve disruptions to 911 service and other services for some of our customers in Central Missouri. The disruptions are due to a fiber cut. Technicians have been dispatched to begin service restoration, and we will provide updates as more information becomes available." - Michael Baker, CenturyLink

A litany of local and state offices notified to public that they were affected by the lapse in service.

Jefferson City Police Department

JCPD officials notified the public that its non-emergency phone system experienced outages Monday.

"There is a major telephone outage affecting the NON-emergency telephone lines at the Jefferson City Police Department," said JCPD Lt. David Williams. "If you need assistance please call 911. Emergency lines (911) are functioning, but if you are unsuccessful please try your call again."

Jefferson City School District

JC Schools confirmed its phones were affected by the widespread outages Monday.

"CenturyLink has communicated they expect the repair to take more than three hours, so we are planning to likely not have phone service for the remainder of the school day," said JC Schools spokesperson Ryan Burns.

Missouri Government Offices

Gov. Mike Parson announced on social media that his office's phone experienced a lapse in service Monday.

"State buildings across the state, including the Capitol, have been affected by the outage," said Office of Administration spokesperson Brittany Ruess.

Columbia Public Schools

The school district in Columbia was not spared from the massive CenturyLink phone outage Monday. 

The district sent out the following notification:

"CPS is experiencing a phone outage.  We are actively working on restoring service. Students are safe."

Boone County Office of Emergency Management

Also affected by the CenturyLink outage Monday, Boone County's Office of Emergency Management warned citizens who cannot reach the emergency line to rush to the nearest fire station, police department or hospital.

According to Boone County Joint Communications, the CenturyLink outage affects 69,894 customers ability to reach 9-1-1.

Boone Electric Cooperative

Boone Electric Cooperative said Monday that outside calls were not being received due to the CenturyLink Outage.

UPDATE 10:40 a.m.: The Jefferson City Police Department told ABC 17 News Monday morning its non-emergency telephone lines were affected by the damaged fiber line. 

Police said their 9-1-1 phone lines were still operational. 

ORIGINAL STORY: JC Schools said Monday morning a damaged CenturyLink fiber line had caused a phone outage at most of its buildings. 

According to a post on Twitter by the school district, parents who need to reach their students are asked to email the JC Schools. 

We are currently experiencing a PHONE OUTAGE FOR MOST OF OUR BUILDINGS due to a CenturyLink fiber which was cut. If you are unable to reach your student's school, please send an email to and she will send your message to the appropriate school.— JC Schools (@JCSchools_) October 28, 2019

A spokeswoman for JC Schools said they expect the school district to be without their phones for most of Monday. 

ABC 17 News is told repairs by CenturyLink to the damaged fiber cable could take around three hours to complete. 

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Zachary Farwell

Zachary Farwell is the assignment editor and former senior producer at ABC 17 News.


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