UPDATE: As of 4:15 p.m., the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office reported that crews repaired the damaged AT&T fiber-optic line, which restored the office’s 9-1-1 dispatch services.
STAFF WRITER CONNIE SWINNEY
BURNET — Burnet-area residents have temporarily lost all AT&T-based phone services, including direct access to 9-1-1 for emergency services. Those living in the unincorporated areas of northern and southern Burnet County have also lost direct access to 9-1-1.
AT&T informed Burnet County emergency officials that “a fiber-optic line” east of Burnet was cut, causing the outage.
Officials reported the ongoing outage at about 11 a.m., which prompted the Burnet County Sheriff’s Office to launch protocols to utilize the 9-1-1 system from neighboring Williamson County.
“Our sheriff’s office land-line is not working. Our 9-1-1 system is down. We have to resort to cellphone services,” BCSO Capt. Ricky Bindseil said. “(Our system) has been transferred to the Williamson County 9-1-1.
“In order to be able to have 9-1-1 service, in the event there is an emergency, then (Williamson County will) call us, and we’ll respond from there,” he added. “There may be a little bit of a time delay in response time from the officers.”
A similar outage occurred about a month ago, Bindseil said. That outage lasted much of the day and into the evening.
“We don’t have any idea when they’ll be re-connected,” he said. “Hopefully, it will be restored by late this evening. I do know they’re working on it.”