A cut fiber line is to blame for Monday’s intermittent service interruptions for Lakeway Area residents calling 911 for emergency services.
Eric Carpenter, executive director of E-911 services for Hamblen County, reported that AT&T notified area agencies that a fiber line in the Jasper, Tennessee area is causing havoc for customers unable to access E-911 services.
“It’s my understanding that there have been multiple issues throughout the Southeast,” Carpenter said. “There have been issues in Tennessee and other states affecting not only EMT systems, but cellular phone networks as well.”
As of late Monday morning, the Hamblen County 911 center was receiving calls from both land lines and cell phone lines.
AT&T told several East Tennessee law enforcement agencies it was experiencing a statewide outage for 911 calls from landlines.
On Monday morning, AT&T said the outages were widespread and the company was actively working to repair it. Officials weren’t sure how long it would take to repair the service.
In Hamblen County, Verizon wireless lines were unable to access 911 services. Those who had tried calling experienced one ring, then a fast busy signal.
“Our technical service division at Hamblen County 911 has been keeping in touch with our contact and getting updates as possible,” Carpenter said. “Our immediate concern is that we get the word out.”
Those unable to call 911 may access emergency services through the regular phone number, 423-585-2701.
“This is still good for all emergency services, city or county,” Carpenter said.
Grainger County E-911 call center in Rutledge reported that their agency hadn’t been advised about an outage. E-911 Director Randy Holt advised that the agency usually gets outage notifications via email.
“Better of half of our county is served by Frontier Communications, a third is our county in Blaine and Bean Station are served by AT&T,” Holt said.
Claiborne County 911 Director Roger Ater said that none of the 911 problems had reached their county as of yet.
“Claiborne County hasn’t experienced any troubles,” Ater said.
Ater said that most of Claiborne County is on CenturyLink landline systems, but the northern part of the county is on AT&T landlines.
A dispatcher in Cocke County said that their agency had not been affected by the outage as of early morning on Monday.
In Hawkins County, most of the area from Surgoinsville to Mooresburg is served by AT&T landlines. The Beech Creek, Church Hill and Mount Carmel area are served by CenturyLink land lines. Calls to the E-911 director were not returned as of press time.
Lakeway Area counties emergency numbers to 911 dispatch centers include:
Claiborne County 423-626-3121
Cocke County 423-623-3064 or 423-623-8777
Grainger County 865-828-3337
Hawkins County 423-272-7121
Jefferson County 865-475-6855
To reach AT&T’s 911 resolution center, readers should call 1-800-553-2811.