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Banner Health, North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley among those affected by nationwide CenturyLink, Verizon outage
December 28, 2018
GREELEY — On Friday, a nationwide CenturyLink and Verizon outage continued to impact Weld County, with the Weld County Regional Communication Center experiencing dropped 911 calls. For more, click here.
Internet and phone service is down for residents in dozens of states across the United States, including Colorado, with perhaps the largest local impact coming at North Colorado Medical Center, where medical staff couldn't access patient records and phone service was spotty.
The nationwide outage started with CenturyLink, but has also impacted Verizon Wireless, which is what caused phone outages for Banner Health.
Banner spokeswoman Sara Quale said via text message that Banner Health's facilities and entities in Colorado and other states have been affected by the CenturyLink and Verizon national outage.
"We are working to make sure our backup systems can help during this challenging time and we ask for your patience as we implement our alternative systems," Quale said.
At North Colorado Medical Center, impacts started first thing Thursday morning, with phones and computers both down. Staff had no access to patient records, and information technology staff worked to ensure accute care computers were working in hospital rooms.
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For Quale, the biggest impact was doctors and other staff were back to taking notes with pencil and paper. Now, Quale said most of the important functions are up and running, thanks to a backup solution created by the company's IT department. But phone service is still spotty.
Quale urged people to call 911 if they're experiencing an emergency.
The Weld County government also confirmed issues with CenturyLink during the nationwide outage, posting on its Facebook page that the nationwide outage was impacting inbound and outbound calls in the western U.S., and that some customers are experiencing slow internet and call failures.
By mid-afternoon, Weld spokeswoman Jennifer Finch said the issues were largely resolved.
"Some of our staff is still experiencing poor phone line quality when calling another state, but that's it," Finch said. "Other states are down. Luckily, that was never the issue here for us."
CenturyLink officials sent a written statement Thursday afternoon that largely copied a statement put on the company's Twitter account earlier in the day.
About 4 p.m. CenturyLink again took to Twitter, saying the network was still experiencing a disruption affecting customer services.
"The CenturyLink technical teams will continue to work around the clock until services are restored," the company said.
Still, CenturyLink has provided no timetable for a fix, and the company would not tell The Tribune how many customers it serves in Greeley, saying that is proprietary information.
An outage map available on the CenturyLink website shows outages across the United States, stretching from New York and Boston to Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Denver and much of northern Colorado is also marked red on the map, indicating reports of outages.
On Twitter, Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel called for an investigation.
"This is a nationwide outage," Rosenworcel tweeted. "The @FCC investigation needs to start now."
This is a nationwide outage. The @FCC investigation needs to start now.https://www.newsweek.com/century-link-down-outages-not-working-users-1272587 …
CenturyLink services are down and not working for users Thursday
CenturyLink was down for users Thursday.
The Twitter account @ReportOutage has detailed large outages from a variety of companies, including Netflix, Verizon Wireless, Instagram, Twitter direct messages and more.
The account reports CenturyLink first received reports of outages before 4 a.m. Thursday, and those outages have grown throughout the day, impacting the western United States most heavily.
CenturyLink has not indicated a cause of the outages.
The Tribune has reached out to a variety of government agencies regarding the outage. Greeley Police spokesman Joe Tymkowych said the department wasn't affected. Evans Police Chief Rick Brandt said his office had not experienced issues either. The Tribune is waiting on return calls from the Weld County Sheriff's Office and the Windsor Police Department.
Officials with the town of Windsor likewise say they aren't aware of any problems. Officials with the city of Greeley IT Department haven't returned calls seeking comment.