A cut fiber optic line in east Lincoln County on Monday morning left a large number of county residents without internet or landline service, including landline 911, for more than eight hours.

Pioneer Connect reported the outage on its website, saying service was out for customers in east and south county due to a cut fiber optic line in the Chitwood area, just west of Eddyville. Successive updates at 12:30 p.m. and 3:34 p.m. advised that the outage was ongoing as crews continued repair work.

Lincoln County Emergency Management sent out a notification via Lincoln Alerts instructing those who were unable to call 911 via landline to use their cellphones to call a central county dispatch line, regardless of the agency responding to their location. At 6:15 p.m., Pioneer reported that service had been restored.

Pioneer Connect General Manager James Rennard said Tuesday morning rolling outages affected 100s of customers at different times during the day and the loss of internet service impacted customers in all of their service area. He said the fiber was accidentally cut by a contractor performing work on the line.

Rennard said the outage began about 9:30 a.m. and that service was restored to the last remaining customers, about 20, by 6:15 p.m.

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