Monday phone service disruption in Routt County stemmed from cut CenturyLink fiber cable; services now restored |

Monday phone service disruption in Routt County stemmed from cut CenturyLink fiber cable; services now restored

Official fix came just after 6 a.m. Tuesday

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — A widespread phone disruption that affected emergency calls and landline use Monday has now been fixed, according to Routt County Emergency Management Director David “Mo” DeMorat.

DeMorat confirmed that 911 lines and general phone service were back in operation for landline and cellphone users. An official fix came just after 6 a.m. Tuesday.

Jason Nettles, Routt County emergency communications manager, said he was told the issue was due to a CenturyLink fiber cable being cut in the Breckenridge area.

Impacts of the disruption, however, were not entirely clear, according to Nettles.

“There was a considerable amount of confusion with my peers in other counties in the region about what services were impacted,” Nettles said. “Every county did not experience the same (issues).”

In Routt County, people experienced difficulties calling mobile phones from landlines and vice versa during the disruption. It also affected people who attempted to call 911 from their mobile devices. In case of an emergency, people were directed to either call 911 from a landline, text 911 on their mobile devices or go to a local police or fire department.

It was initially reported Monday afternoon that mobile users in Routt County were not able to call 911.

“We could not dial 911 from any cell phone we tested,” Nettles said. “When we tried, we received a fast busy (signal).”

He could, however, call from mobile to mobile and landline to landline in Steamboat Springs, but calling long distance from a landline didn’t work. Then, late Monday evening, it was discovered that calling 911 from a landline in North Routt also didn’t work.

That was when Nettles and DeMorat decided to send a final mobile and email alert to provide a mobile number to reach emergency dispatch as a last resort. Several mobile and email alerts were sent out by the county Monday afternoon alerting people of the outage.

Sign up for local emergency alerts

In case of an emergency, Routt County officials have the ability to send mobile and email alerts to people who sign up through their alert center.

You can subscribe to the alerts by visiting and following the online instructions.

A similar outage in March affected the Oak Creek and Yampa areas of Routt County. Hundreds of residents were left with limited landline communications and weren’t able to call 911. That outage also involved CenturyLink services.

To reach Bryce Martin, call 970-871-4206 or email

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