SHREVEPORT, La. - Hundreds of AT&T customers in Shreveport are without phone and internet service and have been for 11 days.

A fire near AT&T equipment under the Common Street bridge is the reason why. Technicians have been working non-stop since then to restore service.

Robert Vinet, AT&T’s regional director, couldn't provide a map of areas affected by this, but he explained this impacts people south of downtown. About 1,500 customers were affected. Half of them have had their services restored in recent days.

Vinet said the cause of the fire is still being investigated by the Shreveport Fire Department.

The site where the fire started was full of debris including a mattress. A fiber cable and three large capacity copper cables were damaged in the fire.

Technicians fixed the fiber cable on Sept. 1 and were still working to reconnect the copper wires. Each cable has 2,100 wires or pairs and has to be traced from the central office downtown to the manhole at the intersection of Common and Crockett streets.

"We're hearing from a lot of the local technicians and managers that are saying that this is the absolute worst damage case they've seen in their career. Some of these careers, 30-35 years with the company," Vinet said. "Just the confined space, trying to pull out the cables, and pull in the new cables just makes it very, very difficult. The guys have been working around the clock, they've done a great job. At night time we have security details on site with them so we can continue safely and get these customers back online."

All customers affected should have service restored in three to four days.


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