Verizon Outage Continues into Third Week

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A Verizon truck on 31st Street near the bridge work. Georgetowner photo.

A Verizon outage that began on Dec. 2 has stretched into its third week, affecting parts of Georgetown and nearby neighborhoods.

According to the phone and internet provider, a worker accidentally cut into cables that run along the 31st Street Bridge, now under reconstruction. At the time, Verizon spokesman David Weissmann told the press that a contractor “inadvertently cut a bank of conduits containing Verizon cables.” The bridge, which crosses the C&O Canal, is being rebuilt by the District Department of Transportation.

While service for many residential and business customers was restored, some remain without their Verizon connections. Places, such as a dentist office on MacArthur Boulevard and Dumbarton House on Q Street, lost connections — and lost business and use of alarm systems.

“Since December 2 when a large number of our cables were cut, Verizon crews have been working around the clock to restore service to our customers,” Weissman told The Georgetowner on Dec. 13. “A significant portion of that work is complete. We had previously indicated that we expected to have all customers back in service prior to 12:01 a.m. Saturday, barring unforeseen circumstances or inclement weather.”

Weissman continued: “Last night (December 12) we found water flowing in one of our manholes we entered to work on reconnecting customers. The water damaged a previously undamaged part of the cable. We are working to identify the source of the water flowing into our manhole and halt the flow so we can restart our repair work. While that process is underway, we have resequenced our work to focus on repairs to other cables affected by the December 2 outage.

“We expect to continue to bring customers back into service today and over the weekend. We also expect that repairs to the water-damaged cable will stretch into next week, and we anticipate bringing customers on this cable back into service next week. Additional damage to our cables or inclement weather may affect our planned schedule.”

Such words did not calm those still affected by the outage.

Among others, one Georgetown resident wrote on Dec. 14 at Nextdoor.com: “I’m now in the 14th day of no landline phone and no DSL internet service from Verizon. (I’m using a neighbor’s computer to write this.) I take faint hope from the continued presence of a Verizon repair truck doing underground work in front of the Georgetown Library, but I wonder if there are many others out there still lacking service. I also wonder if anyone knows the name of the regulatory body which oversees Verizon in the District, since I’m contemplating filing a complaint, given the very prolonged delay in restoration of service. I suspect Verizon is underresourcing these repairs, which is why they are dragging on so long.”

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