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Windstream customers have phone service back

AT&T says fewer people are using land lines these days.
flickr - photodu.de
AT&T says fewer people are using land lines these days.

Updated:  4:48 p.m.

A Windstream spokeswoman says service to all customers has been restored, as of 3:30 today.

Customers of the company lost their phone service this morning, after multiple problems that happened on the same day.

Spokeswoman Erin Ascione says first, a key computer card that controls phone service failed.  The company is looking into why.

It's possible the failure was triggered by the two other problems - a fiber optic cable that was accidentally cut by outside contracters in Wisconsin, and another cable cut in Indiana. 

Ascione says repairing those cables takes time.

"Because you're splicing tiny glass fibers, back together, that work is pretty intricate, sometimes takes a little bit longer than you would like but it needs to be done right," she told Michigan Radio.

Windstream is a popular phone service supplier for schools and businesses in Michigan. 


Phone outages are being reported around Michigan today as officials from Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Grand Rapids say they're experiencing technical issues with local calls. 

It's also affected McLaren Health Care Locations in Flint, Bay City and Lapeer, according to WNEM TV5. 

Oakland and Washtenaw counties are posting notices about the outages on their websites. Oakland county spokesman Bill Mullan says the problem is with the county's phone service provider, a company called Windstream.

Our calls to Windstream were not immediately answered, and attempts to reach the company through their online chat services were unsuccsessful.

The problem could be due to "a cut fiber optic line in Indiana and a failed piece of equipment in Wisconsin," according to an email received by WNEM TV5 from a Windstream spokesperson. 

The AP is reporting outages in the Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids areas as well, although officials say 911 and emergency dispatch lines are open and receiving calls. 

According to Oakland County's website: 

"Waterford, Michigan -- Oakland County government is experiencing trouble with local incoming and outgoing phone calls because its carrier is experiencing a network problem in their system. Callers who have a critical need may call the county’s switchboard at 1-888-350-0900 and ask the operator to transfer the call to a county department or division. 

Other toll-free numbers to reach some county departments directly include:

Oakland County Sheriff Dispatch 800-647-3334
Health Division 866-683-7191
Nurse on Call 800-848-5533
Friend of the Court 800-357-4507
Treasurer 888-600-3773
Work Force Development 800-742-5463
Oakland County Parks & Rec 888-627-2757
Callers whose issues are not urgent are asked to call back after regular service has been restored. At this time, it is not clear when that will be. Incoming and outgoing long distance calls are not affected because they are handled by another service provider."

Kate Wells is a Peabody Award-winning journalist currently covering public health. She was a 2023 Pulitzer Prize finalist for her abortion coverage.