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CenturyLink service restored, FCC to investigate

UPDATE

CenturyLink reports that as of Friday evening all consumer services impacted by an internet outage that began on Thursday — including voice and 911 services — have been restored.

Any latency issues will clear in the next few hours, according to the company.

CenturyLink reports that a “major path issue” is what has caused outages across Montana and several other states on Thursday.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has announced that the agency has launched an investigation into the nationwide CenturyLink outage, which has affected 911 service for numerous consumers across the country.

Chairman Pai issued the following statement regarding the situation:

“When an emergency strikes, it’s critical that Americans are able to use 911 to reach those who can help. The CenturyLink service outage is therefore completely unacceptable, and its breadth and duration are particularly troubling. I’ve directed the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau to immediately launch an investigation into the cause and impact of this outage. This inquiry will include an examination of the effect that CenturyLink’s outage appears to have had on other providers’ 911 services. I have also spoken with CenturyLink to underscore the urgency of restoring service immediately. We will continue to monitor this situation closely to ensure that consumers’ access to 911 is restored as quickly as possible.”


UPDATE (11:30 a.m. on 12.28.18)

MISSOULA – CenturyLink reports that a “major path issue” is what has caused outages across Montana and several other states on Thursday.

The company posted on their Twitter page early Friday that they expect to restore service sometime Friday morning.

The outages impacted banks, stores, local city government offices, some police stations in Montana and satellite TV operators DirecTV and Dish Network.

CenturyLink said that they were seeing “positive progress” in resolving the problem as of 2:45 a.m. on Friday.

CenturyLink said their engineers and technicians identified a network element that was impacting customer service and apologized for the inconvenience to its customers.

Specifics on what actually happened was not released.

The company further stated that as of 8:45 a.m. they were “seeing good progress” but that “restoration work is not complete.”

Some Verizon customers have also been suffering from internet outages because they use CenturyLink to distribute their data.

Missoula Federal Credit Union reported on Twitter that service had mostly been restored and they were working to get their ATMs back up and running.

CenturyLink noted late on Friday morning that some 911 service in the US was still being affected by the internet outage.

CenturyLink Modem
(photo credit: CenturyLink / Youtube via MGN Online)

UPDATE (9:55 p.m. on 12.27.18)

MISSOULA – Just after 9:30 p.m. Thursday, CenturyLink posted on their Twitter page that they expect to restore service within four hours.

The outages impacted banks, stores, local city government offices, some police stations in Montana and satellite TV operators DirecTV and Dish Network.

CenturyLink said their engineers and technicians identified a network element that was impacting customer service and apologized for the inconvenience to its customers. Specifics on what actually happened was not released.


(original story)

MISSOULA – Western Montana is among the areas being impacted by a nationwide internet outage.

CenturyLink says a “major path issue” is what has caused outages across Montana and several other states Thursday, and it could be 24 to 48 hours before service is restored.

Missoula Federal Credit Union states on their website that “We are currently experiencing technical issues with our ATMs and Mobile App. This is caused by a regional outage with our internet provider.”

Missoula Emergency Services Director Adriane Beck tells KPAX that the 911 system is functioning, but 911 dispatchers were unable to return calls to customers Thursday. But she reiterated that all inbound calls were working.

Some pharmacies in Missoula were also reporting a lack of internet service as of mid-day on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the Helena Police Department issued a statement on their Facebook page that there have had some 911 issues related to the outage.

911 issues are likely related to nationwide internet outages being experienced by CenturyLink. Many business and…

Posted by Helena Montana Police Department on Thursday, December 27, 2018

Verizon Wireless says they are also impacted by CenturyLink’s outage.

Verizon spokesperson Steve Van Dinter tells KPAX that they contract with CenturyLink in Montana to carry their data over their network.

Van Dinter says they do not have a time frame on when everything will be back online as CenturyLink is the lead agency on the outage.

He did say Verizon customers can enable their Wi-Fi calling on their phones to make calls and receive texts during the outage.

Customers must be near Wi-Fi in order for it work. You can find instructions to use Wi-Fi calling here.

The outage was also reportedly affecting some ATM’s, including at Horizon Credit Union on South Reserve St.

The outage was also reportedly affecting some ATM’s, including at Horizon Credit Union on South Reserve St.

Elsewhere across the West, the downdetector.com website was showing major internet outages in the Denver, Boise, Seattle, Salt Lake City and Portland areas.

According to CenturyLink, the issue has caused outages in Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Utah, New Mexico, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, and Arizona.

Verizon was also suffering from internet outages on Thursday including in the Missoula, Helena and Billings areas, according to downdetector.com.

Denver, Portland. Salt Lake City and Seattle were also seeing internet outages in the Western US.

We will have more information on this developing story as it becomes available.

-information from Melissa Rafferty included in this report.

Mark Thorsell

Mark Thorsell

Mark Thorsell is a digital content producer and editor at KPAX and KAJ. He is originally from Connecticut and has worked as a journalist for 25 years.
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