ALTON - Phone and internet service has been spotty for most people in the Riverbend region throughout the morning on Feb. 22, 2024.

This is largely due to an AT&T outage that has affected customers nationwide. Jarvis Swope, the IT support person for the City of Alton, said most people are using cellular data to complete work at City Hall.

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“Unfortunately, we are still one of the affected sites,” he said. “We’re managing. It put us down a little bit, but there’s enough things that people can do to keep working.”

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He said the fire department does not currently have internet, but it is not affecting calls for service. FirstNet, a broadband network for first responders, is already back up and running.

Swope said the “hearsay” is that a semi-truck hit a telephone pole and “broke the fiber,” which would cause widespread outages like the Riverbend is experiencing.

“We just have to just unfortunately deal with what happens. It’s an act of God,” he added. “When somebody accidentally causes an accident or somebody vandalizes the fiber, unfortunately, there's nothing that we can do. We just have to just have our redundant internet connection as a backup, just to alleviate some of the frustrations that people have when we don't have internet.”

This is a developing story.

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