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Area fiber optic lines cut, causes outage
Fiber Optic Cable

BOSCOBEL - Anyone who needed to know the importance of internet access in 2020 found out last week when connection was lost completely. Customers of US Cellular and Verizon also reported cell phone outages at the same time.

Between late Tuesday morning, Dec. 8 and early Thursday morning, Dec. 10, customers of CenturyLink internet were without service throughout the area.

CenturyLink never released a public explanation for the long outage, with service being interrupted Tuesday, sporadically restored Wednesday afternoon and completely restored late Thursday morning. 

A City of Platteville Facebook page post reported a fiber optic line was cut and later the Grant County Sheriff’s Department reported, “Per a representative from the TDS Telecom, a fiber optic line had been damaged between Boscobel and Muscoda. They stated that the repair splicing crews were on their way and that they hoped to be back up and running my Wednesday morning. At that time they did not know for certain what internet and phone services were affected by this.” 

The TDS Telecom fiber optic that was cut apparently affected CenturyLink customers as well, as most of the northern area of Grant County was still without internet or had a spotty connection. Later on Wednesday, it was said it would be up and running by 2 p.m. that afternoon. When Thursday morning arrived, Boscobel and surrounding areas still did not have internet but in the later part of the morning, services had been restored to most of the areas.

CenturyLink, Boscobel’s main internet provider and only landline telephone provider, closed their Boscobel office in January of 2015 at which time residents could call the Platteville office. On March 29, 2018, CenturyLink closed all of their Wisconsin offices other than the LaCrosse location.

CenturyLink received $332 million under the Federal Communications Commission’s Connect America Fund to extend high-speed Internet service to rural areas. The subsidy is intended to bring high-speed Internet to more than 129,000 addresses in Wisconsin.

CenturyLink is the state’s second largest broadband and voice provider, but the smallest cable TV provider.

In addition to Boscobel, CenturyLink provides landline service in Benton, Boscobel, Darlington, Gratiot, Hazel Green, Highland, Leadmine, Livingston, Montfort, Muscoda, New Diggings, Platteville, Rewey, Seneca, Shullsburg, Steuben, Stitzer, Wauzeka and Wiota, according to

Steve Prestegard, Platteville Journal editor, contributed to this story.