Internet, cell phone and power outages hit Summit County |

Internet, cell phone and power outages hit Summit County

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Two outages brought wireless service and power to a halt on Sunday evening and Monday morning. Communications slowed Sunday afternoon when a cut fiber-optic line brought down Internet and cell service across the county.

Residents reported outages to Comcast, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile between 4 and 5 p.m. that day.

“It is our understanding that one of the CDOT contractors cut a fiber-optic line that serviced some of our residential and commercial customers,” said Cindy Parsons, a spokeswoman with Comcast. “Our fiber team came out and repaired it.”

Meagan Dorsch with Verizon Wireless said that cell service was restored by 6:30 p.m., adding that the cables used to provide Internet access also connect cell towers to the switchboard.

“Comcast is our fiber backhaul provider,” she said. “What impacted them, impacted us.”

Tracy Trulove with the Colorado Department of Transportation said that the contractor was working on the Peak Period Shoulder Lane project on Interstate 70 near Idaho Springs when the line was cut around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. She said that the line was repaired and services were fully restored around 3:45 a.m. on Monday.

Dillon resident Jeri Hanly said, “When we drove to Wal-Mart to buy an emergency radio, we learned that some of their service went out around 2 p.m. Fortunately, our car’s satellite radio was still working, but it was frightening not to be able to contact anyone by phone.”

In an unrelated incident the following morning, Breckenridge residents lost power for more than an hour as Xcel Energy responded to a broken switch cabinet. Spokesman Gabriel Romero said the outage lasted 90 minutes in total, affecting about 5,000 residents for a portion of that time.

“We had an equipment failure,” he said. “We knew what the failure was, we went in there and replaced the switch cabinet and were ready to turn it back on.”

He added that switch cabinets are a fairly common source of power outages.

During the blackout, Xcel Energy rerouted power, providing electricity to many of the homes affected by the broken switch until it was fixed.

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