Early Saturday morning, a tractor trailer hit and knocked over a 60-foot pole at the intersection of US highways 290 and 281 at Miller Creek, according to reports from Pedernales Electric Cooperative and Verizon.
“Our district office did not see any outages on our outage report,” reported Michael Racis, communications manager with the electric co-op. It was a different story for Verizon as the accident caused an outage that disrupted service to people in and around Blanco.
The damage to the pole severed a fiber optic cable that carries voice and data in and out of the Blanco vicinity. The cut fiber affected local and long distance calls, some Internet access, and cell service in the area. Cell phone service, in addition to moving from one cell site to another, also uses the traditional landline network, which is why a cut cable affects cell phones.
Verizon crews spliced the cut fiber optic cable and restored all service at 2:55pm on Saturday. PEC crews replaced the pole and made repairs.
“Our number priority, whenever we have any glitches,” said Jon Davies with Verizon, “is to get customers back in service.”
Saturday’s outage affected a small area. A previous outage in 2008 involved an interoffice fiber in Comfort that was accidentally cut by a property owner doing excavation work. That fiber served 25,000 Verizon customers and connected most of the 830 area code to the main trunk in San Antonio. Phone, Internet, and cell service for a large part of the Hill Country was disrupted for 9 hours.