Long distance phone service down statewideLong-distance phone calls in southwest North Dakota and across the state were impossible to make from many landlines Friday, according to Consolidated.
Long-distance phone calls in southwest North Dakota and across the state were impossible to make from many landlines Friday, according to Consolidated.
“It is affecting the entire state, but it has not affected all customers,” said Consolidated Public Relations Manager Rhonda Dukart. “Whoever happens to be carried on the lines that were cut, those are the people that don’t have long distance.”
Dukart said the company began receiving calls from customers wondering what was wrong at about noon Friday.
“Basically the information that we’ve been given is that Quest has a widespread outage in North Dakota,” she said. “They are believing that there was a fiber cut and the fiber apparently must be one of the major fibers that carries long distance throughout the state.”
Dukart expected services to be restored Friday. The Dickinson Press did have long distance service at press time.
Consolidated could not do anything to mend the problem, she added.
“The entire state is out, so it consequently affects everybody that’s in our service area,” Dukart said. “We’re the telephone company, but then we partner with a provider to carry long distance because of course if I’m calling Minneapolis, for example, that call has to leave our area and is handed off to another area.”
Craig Steve, manager of All American Travel in Dickinson, said the business could only call local and toll-free numbers Friday afternoon.
“We’ve definitely kind of shut down for the afternoon for any ability to call anyone,” Steve said. “It’s disruptive, there’s no doubt about that.”
Customers were able to call All American Travel, but employees were unable to call customers back, he said.
“It’s annoying,” Steve said. “How many people are thinking you’re ignoring them because you can’t get back to them? We had somebody call in and say ‘Why didn’t you get back to us?’”
Dukart was unsure how many Consolidated customers were affected by the outage.
“It’s just been very random off and on throughout the afternoon — not anything close to what would be considered for us to be a major outage,” she said.
The issue didn’t seem to be concentrated in any certain regions throughout the company’s coverage area, Dukart said.
“The calls that we have gotten have been throughout southwest North Dakota,” Dukart said.
Several staff at Quest declined comment Friday.