After nearly 5 1/2 hours of a “widespread outage,” Windstream Corp. reported Monday afternoon that technicians have restored phone service to “all but a handful of customers” and continue to work on the issue.
The outage occurred around 11:30 a.m., and a number of Windstream customers in the greater Charlotte area weren’t able to make or receive long-distance and toll-free calls.
“We are investigating the cause of the failure,” said company spokesman David Avery.
Avery said he didn’t know the total number of customers affected or the extent of the outage. Windstream spokesman Scott Morris characterized the outage as wide-ranging. Posts on Twitter and Facebook also suggested the outage was multistate.
Windstream, based in Little Rock, Ark., sells phone service to 1.8 million households in 48 states and in Washington, D.C., bringing in roughly $6 billion in annual revenue. Windstream also has about 638,000 business customers, including some in major cities.
As of last summer, Windstream, which is listed in the S&P 500, employed about 1,300 people in the Charlotte area, including offices in Matthews, Concord and Mooresville.
Windstream says its high-speed Internet access and digital television services weren’t affected by Monday’s outage. But its website was down intermittently Monday afternoon, and customers also reported not being able to place calls to customer service.
A Charlotte business owner and Windstream customer frustrated by the outage contacted the Observer, forwarding a online chat with a support staffer at Windstream that suggested the outage was nationwide.
Town of Matthews spokeswoman Annette Privette Keller issued a statement telling residents that nonemergency phone lines into the Matthews Police Department weren’t working, and Windstream was working to repair the lines.
Residents were advised to call 911 if they “need to contact the police department or animal control for the Town of Matthews and Mint Hill for any reason.”
Early Monday evening, she issued a statement saying Matthews Police Department nonemergency phones were back online and working properly. The Associated Press contributed to this story.
McMillan: 704-358-6045; Twitter: @cbmcmillan
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