Omaha area residents frustrated as company allegedly leaves phone line on the ground

Many of us only have a cell phone, but for senior citizens living in rural Nebraska, a landline can feel like a lifeline.
Published: Jun. 10, 2022 at 10:27 PM CDT
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ASHLAND, Neb. (WOWT) - Many of us only have a cell phone, but for senior citizens living in rural Nebraska, a landline can feel like a lifeline.

A couple living southwest of Omaha is having issues with their phone company Windstream.

After a powerful winter wind storm knocked out their phone service, a Windstream crew came out in January to get the Jones back on the line.

Bill and Joan Jones say that after six months the line hasn’t been buried.

“I just want this thing out of our yard like they said they were going to do when the ground thawed out,” Joan said.

The phone line right now serves as an above-ground and mostly on-the-ground home phone line.

“Animals can chew up the wire and it’s still not its best because it still gets when it rains hard it still gets static in the line,” Bill Jones said.

The phone line into their house is wrapped around a tall tree stump and then it lays across their front yard.

“It runs up this power pole and over the driveway.”

And from there, the phone line drops back down across more yard headed to a connection down the road.

The utility crew draped the line on a spruce tree. That was in January and it’s now June. The Jones can’t finish their mowing.

The Jones say they’ve repeatedly called customer service for updates and have only been told a permit has been obtained. But they say six months should be more than enough time to get the job done.

“It’s an eyesore to hang around above the trees.”

After a half dozen calls over six months, the phone line traversing their yard has yet to be buried.

“They’ve had more than enough time.”

The Jones want to know what is the hangup.

6 News contacted Windstream about why the service was taking so long.

A representative for Windstream says they plan to get the line buried within the next week.

“We installed the new line in January because of an issue with the section of the cable that passes under the county road to connect the customer’s house to our main line. We don’t have a record of any service issues since that time.”

“To make the repair permanent, we will bore under the road and then plow a trench to bury the cable from the road to the house. We don’t typically do this kind of work during the winter when the ground is frozen, and the project is scheduled for June 16.”

“We apologize for the inconvenience and will be giving the customer a service credit.”

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