County Leaders Speaking Out About Cut Communication Lines 9/4/12
CBS 7 News
September 4, 2012
ALPINE, TX - Leaders of a west Texas county are speaking out about a problem they are seeing more often, their communication being cutoff. It’s happening when AT&T communication cables, which service the county, are accidentally cut leaving Brewster County without cable, internet even 911 service for hours at time. Now county leaders are asking for a back up plan.
Brewster county emergency responders are having to deal with a recurring problem, their communication being out. We rely on them during frightening emergencies but what if no one is on the other side of the phone when you call 911.
That's happening in Brewster County and other counties around west Texas when a communication cable is cut. No internet, landline, or cell phone service.
"Four times since December our AT&T service line have been cut by workers in the Midland, Odessa area putting out emergency combination out, if we can get to them, that's a big problem,” said Beste Esparza, Public Information Officer, Brewster County.
With the reoccurrence of the problem, county officials are now calling on AT&T to implement a back up system.
"Judge Beard wants to see some redundancy in the service lines, and one united voice on this issue among area counties,” said Esparza.
Alpine residents agree emergency communication is an absolute necessity. County leaders say that if AT&T does not step up to address the problem, they are ready to find a solution on their own.
CBS 7 reached out to AT&T for comment on this story. They released the following statement:
"AT&T works quickly and diligently to repair all service outages due to cable cuts…whether they are the result of other companies’ construction in the area or our own. In the event of a service outage that affects 911 services, it is our top priority to re-route 9-1-1 calls as quickly as possible."