As Repairs Fail, County 911 Chief
Files Complaint Today With PUC
By JIM KEVLIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – County 911 Director Rob O’Brien today filed a complaint with the state Public Service Commission after “large pockets” of Frontier Communications’ landline telephone customers have been without service, some for weeks.
Because there is no cell-phone service in parts of the Gilbertsville-Morris-New Lisbon corridor, many customers would be unable to communicate in case of fire or other emergency. Frontier, which also serves Unadilla, has 2,753 customers in Otsego County, but it was unclear how many had been affected.
“Some of these folks are talking about no telephone service for almost the entire month of December,” said O’Brien. “It’s mindboggling to me that this would go on in the year 12019 – People can’t count on reliable telephone service.
The 911 director said he learned about the problem while checking the Morris community Facebook page on Dec. 29, and reached out to Heinz Diehl, Frontier’s 911 manager for New York and Pennsylvania.
Diehl told him yesterday that the problem had been isolated to a switching station on Bourne Hill, west of the Village of Morris, and had been repaired. “It was bounding: It was working, it was not working. So that didn’t trigger the alarm,” O’Brien said.
Telephones then worked for a while, but by afternoon the outages were occurring again, he said, and that prompted him to file the complaint this morning.
A call has been placed with PSC Communications Director James Denn, and an e-mail – the only form of communication available to the public – to Frontier’s press office, and replies are being awaited.
The matter was raised at Wednesday’s county Board of Representatives meeting by Rep. Ed Frazier, R-Unadilla, who was encouraged by his colleagues to alert the PUC if necessary.
“It’s a very urgent situation,” said Rep. Dan Wilber, R-Town of Burlington, whose district borders the affected area.
O’Brien said of the PSC, “They need to get involved and insist on resolution.”
However, he added, “I feel these issued are the result of neglect and aged equipment. I think there are much bigger issues than Frontier’s letting on.”