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Internet outages widespread

Chestnut Ridge without service for a week

Internet and phone service provided by CenturyLink continues to experience outages that are widespread in Bedford County, affecting residents’ access to the internet and their ability to make long-distance phone calls.

Teachers in the Chestnut Ridge School District had to work around the issue as best they could, Joshua Smith, technology coordinator for the district, said. Fortunately most of their in-house curriculum was still available.

The internet for the district had gone out on Sept. 1 and was restored about 4 p.m. Sept. 7, according to Smith.

“This has never happened before, not on a long-term basis,” Smith said.

While the Bedford Area School District doesn’t use CenturyLink for its internet, its long distance and toll-free calling capabilities were affected, according to John Diehl, director of technology and chief information officer for Bedford Area High School, said. Many people at the school had cellphones on site to circumvent the issue.

“It seems to have been restored today,” Diehl said. “Preliminary tests on our end show that the issue has been resolved.”

Dale Gates, the director of maintenance for the Bedford County Courthouse, confirmed that it had issues with its services since last week. He was unable to confirm if the issues had been resolved.

Fortunately, calls into EMS services in Bedford County have not been affected by the ongoing problem, according to Dave Cubbison, Bedford County EMS director.

Cubbison expressed concern for the more rural Bedford County residents.

“We have residents in very rural areas with no phone service or internet service,” Cubbison said. “And they live where cell service is non-existent.”

He also said that residents are becoming frustrated, with one man driving to the top of a mountain for cellphone service just to call him to see if anything was being done about the problem.

“It is dragging,” Cubbison said of the outage.

In a statement provided via email, senior lead communications manager for Century­Link Suzanne K. Dawe said that the company is working to resolve the disruption of internet and long-distance phone service affecting some communities and businesses in Pennsylvania.

“The outage is due to flooding at one of our locations in Philadelphia after Hurricane Ida,” Dawe said. “We continue to work around the clock to restore these services, and we appreciate the patience our customers have shown.”

Smith said the fiber connection service in Philadelphia was flooded with 28 inches of water.

However, the outages themselves have been going on for at least two weeks or longer, preceding Hurricane Ida reaching the region, according to Cubbison.

“This has been an ongoing issue for several weeks,” Cubbison said. “And it’s not a consistent outage — it’s been spotty. At this point, it’s more than an inconvenience. Now it’s turned into something that needs some attention.”

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