CenturyLink Internet Services Appear to be Restored In Wyoming
The nationwide CenturyLink internet outage that began early Thursday appears to be over at least for now in Natrona, Laramie, Albany and Sweetwater counties on Friday morning.
Nationwide, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai announced the agency has launched an investigation into the outage that affected 911 service in many locations.
"The CenturyLink service outage is therefore completely unacceptable, and its breadth and duration are particularly troubling," Pai wrote in a prepared statement.
In Natrona County, Information Technology director Eileen Hill said in a prepared statement that services were restored as of 9:30 a.m.
"Online payments can be accepted via our website as long as the CenturyLink services remain online. It is possible that intermittent outages could occur," according to her statement.
The outage affected the County Treasurer and Clerk of District Court offices that could not accept credit card payments, she said earlier Friday.
Meanwhile, Natrona County Sheriff's Office spokesman Sgt. Aaron Shatto said his department had back-up communications systems.
The City of Casper does not use CenturyLink internet, its IT Department head Michael Szewczyk said. The city does use CenturyLink for phone service, but it did not have problems with that, Szewczyk added.
Elsewhere in Wyoming, Laramie County reported "minimal" issues including a few difficulties placing outbound calls.
Albany County Sheriff's Office and City of Laramie Information Technology representatives said they had not been affected.
However, the Albany County Information Technology department had not responded to requests for comment by 10:45 a.m.
Services have been restored at the Sweetwater County Combined Communications Center in Green River, according to spokesman Dick Blust.
Thursday, the Communications Center was working with CenturyLink to resolve the issues, but 911 calls were affected, Sheriff Mike Lowell said.
The reports of the outages began about 2 a.m. Thursday, spiked about 10 a.m., fell and have remained steady since then, according to downdetector.com.
At 10 a.m. Friday, CenturyLink posted this statement on its Facebook page: "Restoring impacted services for our customers is very important to us. We are seeing good progress, but our service restoration work is not complete. Our teams are continuing their efforts to resolve these issues and we will continue to provide updates throughout the day."
However, the company has not posted any official statement on its website.
While the outages have been reported across the United States, the areas most affected included Seattle, Salt Lake City, Boise, Idaho, Denver and Minneapolis, according to reports to downdetector.com.
CenturyLink has 17 million access lines, 5 million broadband customers, 1.4 million video subscribers in 37 states.
In Natrona County, Eileen Hill said she first learned of the outage when she went to work at 7:30 a.m. Thursday, and she'd never encountered anything like it. "This widespread and this long is new for me."
Her employees' efforts to reach CenturyLink were in vain, and the only official comment was one posted on its Facebook page: "Our network is experiencing a disruption affecting customer services. We understand some customers are currently unable to generate tickets through the CenturyLink help portal. We know how important these services are to our customers and we are working to restore services as quickly as possible."
Her office began working on its highest priorities of banking, payroll, and setting up an alternate internet system through Verizon, she said.
Otherwise, Hill has heard nothing about the breadth of the outage, who is affected, what services are affected, and when the issues may be resolved.