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Some CenturyLink customers still without phone, internet

It’s been three months since the South Obenchain fire devastated northern Jackson County and much of the Butte Falls Highway area. Pacific Power restored power to residents after working day and night. Phone service provided by CenturyLink, however, is still out. There has not even been a sighting of a CenturyLink vehicle. I realize they must be busy, but shouldn’t we expect some effort? What’s the problem?

— Hugh, Butte Falls Highway

We reached out to CenturyLink, which is now called Lumen Technologies, about the continued lack of service in the Butte Falls Highway area.

“We certainly understand the frustrations of these customers devastated by the fires. Dealing with the loss of homes and belongings is more than frustrating, and we are working to bring some semblances of normalcy back as quickly as possible. This process has been complicated by not only our central office but also our infrastructure burning. This includes phone and internet connectivity,” said Lumen Technologies Senior Communications Manager Kerry Zimmer.

She said the company’s engineers have been working behind the scenes to build new infrastructure. Operations teams have been placing copper drops to homes that are still intact in preparation for new cable, which will be placed and spliced to restore services for approximately 60 customers in the next few weeks.

In October, Lumen Technologies told the media an estimated five miles of fiber line and copper telephone lines were burned along Butte Falls Highway, as well as along side roads.

The company said at the time its teams accessed the area as soon as it was safe to do so. They installed temporary cables to restore as much internet and phone connectivity as possible.

Oregon wildfires fueled by unseasonably hot September temperatures and strong winds caused widespread damage to Lumen Technologies infrastructure throughout the state, the company said.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; or by email to youasked@rosebudmedia.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.