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Buckingham County residents report months of phone line issues

'When the wind blows, the line goes out'
Buckingham Phone Lines.png
Posted at 7:20 AM, Oct 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 12:32:57-04

BUCKINGHAM COUNTY, Va. -- A Buckingham County official is reaching out to the CBS 6 Problem Solvers for help, saying for weeks people who live in the county aren't getting a dial tone when they pick up their phones.

Buckingham County Supervisor Jordan Miles said he’s heard from roughly 100 of his constituents who have had issues with the phone lines for years now. He said when the wind blows, the phone line goes out.

Miles sent CBS 6 photos of CenturyLink's phone lines in the county. The pictures show wires coming out of the boxes, uncovered and exposed to water.

"I report every outage I get from my district and in Buckingham," said Miles. "I send it to CenturyLink that same day. I send them the same photos that you're gonna see. One of their representatives was on our town hall meeting, but they have got to do more than just simply say 'oh, we're going to look into this.'"

Miles said he's heard from some county residents who can't communicate with loved ones, or even call 911 in case of an emergency because of the phone issues.

"I had one of my constituents call in during our town hall meeting Saturday," Miles explained. "She's a cancer patient, and she hasn't had a phone for weeks, and she has trouble reporting her outage. She needs her telephone in case she needs to call her family, her mother, 911 for in the event of any emergency."

The phone issue is also impacting business owners like Ben Moss of Moss Tree Service.

"Potential clients have been trying to touch base with us, and they cannot get through because the line is just is down," Moss explained.

Moss said the issue has persisted for three years now. Sometimes he says the phone will work, and other times, without him knowing, it will drop out. He estimates he's lost thousands of dollars in business because of the issue.

“We have clients tell us that they cannot make contact," Moss noted. "That's what it's all about is making contact, and where we live, we don't have internet service, that good of cell phone service, so we we truly rely on landlines. And it's the heartbeat of the company is communication."

Miles is hopeful CenturyLink will take the time to repair the phone line infrastructure, but he believes the issue would not have lasted this long if it were happening in a more populated Virginia county.

"This has got to change, you know, there's corporate responsibility that CenturyLink needs to understand," said Miles. "Just because we're not congregated, like Richmond, or Roanoke, or Northern Virginia, we deserve the same service and the same respect that those people do."

CBS 6 reached out to CenturyLink about the phone issue and received a statement from a spokeswoman reading, “I’ve researched your request and our network is operating normally and not experiencing any widespread issues. Ensuring the reliability of our services is a priority and we are working with customers and the county to address individual concerns. We encourage customers to contact us online [centurylink.com] to resolve any individual issues as quickly as possible.”

However, CBS 6 also asked about the last time infrastructure in Buckingham was replaced or updated and did not hear back.