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UPDATE | Copper thefts causing more problems for Windstream customers

(WSAZ)
Published: Apr. 3, 2019 at 3:12 PM EDT
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UPDATE 5/21/19 @ 4:05 p.m.

Copper thefts continue causing problems in parts of Boyd County, officials with Windstream said Tuesday.

The communications company reports that a couple of copper thefts during the weekend caused an ongoing outage for customers in the Meads area.

Windstream also reports that the outage is affecting all services, including access to 911. They say they hope to have services restored later Tuesday.

Early last month, the company offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible. Anyone with information is encouraged to call local law enforcement or Windstream toll free at 855-268-2211.


UPDATE 4/10/19 @ 1:45 p.m.

After more than a week, some phone and internet customers are still feeling the impact of copper thefts in eastern Kentucky.

Windstream officials say crews "are working diligently to restore service." They say the work has been challenging because the thieves cut some extremely large cables that contained about 2,100 pairs of copper wire.

Company officials say each of the copper pairs has to be individually spliced to fully correct the outage. Customers are coming back online in phases as the work is underway.

According to Windstream, all customers' service should be restored by the end of the business day Friday.

During the peak of the outage, as many as 5,000 customers were without service. The affected areas included Meads, Summit and Cannonsburg.

The company continues to offer a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible. Anyone with information is encouraged to call local law enforcement or Windstream toll free at 855-268-2211.


UPDATE 4/3/19 @ 9 p.m.

A rash of copper thefts is causing phone and internet service outages for thousands of customers in eastern Kentucky.

Thefts were most recently reported on Thursday, Saturday and Monday nights.

Windstream, the providing company, is offering a reward of $10,000 to anyone who has information that leads to an arrest.

Rich Evans works from his home in Summit and needs the internet to do his job.

Last week he became one of thousands of Windstream customers who've lost phone and internet service.

"Everyone is losing money because of this," Evans said. "It's very annoying."

A spokesperson for Windstream says since Jan. 1, there've been nearly 20 incidents of thieves cutting and stealing copper telephone lines in Ashland, Grayson and Greenup.

"It gets in the way of everything," Summit resident William Perry said.

The Windstream spokesperson says because thieves keep cutting the copper, it's delaying restoration efforts.

"Wouldn't it be nice if they used that kind of energy for something productive?" Evans said.

They're worried someone potentially needing to make an emergency phone call won't be able to.

With no internet, Evans was forced to give up two vacation days before switching to a different internet provider.

Windstream says they're working with local authorities to try to track the thieves down.


ORIGINAL STORY 4/3/19

A communications company is offering a $10,000 reward for information to find whoever is responsible for copper thefts, causing phone/internet outages for as many as 5,000 customers.

Windstream reports that the outage has affected residents in the Meads, Summit and Cannonsburg areas of Boyd County.

Company officials say the copper cable thefts happened Thursday, Saturday and Monday nights. Service has since been restored to some customers, as Windstream crews continue working to provide complete restoration.

The repeated thefts have made that difficult, according to Windstream officials, who said nearly 20 incidents have happened since Jan. 1.

Meanwhile, Kentucky state Sen. Robin Webb, D-Grayson, and other local leaders met with Windstream executives at her Frankfort office to discuss the ongoing issue.

Anyone with information about the incidents is asked to call their local law enforcement agency or call Windstream toll free at 855-268-2211. A reward will follow the arrest and conviction of anyone found guilty of charges related to an incident, according to Windstream.

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