Private phone company: City suffers outage until New Years

Historic City News was informed of a failure by the private telephone company selected by city management in St Augustine to provide phone service.  The failure has resulted in telephone service outages at several City facilities.  The outage is expected to continue until “late evening” on New Year’s Eve.

The phone outage has impacted service at:

  • Fleet Maintenance
  • Historic Downtown Parking Facility
  • Visitor Information Center
  • Water Treatment Plant

“The City’s carrier, Windstream, will begin extensive repair work immediately,” according to Melissa Wissel, Communications Director.  “Restoration is estimated for late evening December 31, 2020.  Updates will be provided on the City’s website and Facebook page.”

In northeast Florida, AT&T Communications is the local exchange carrier — they own the hundreds of miles of copper and fiber cable below the city streets and provide your dial-tone.  Independently operated companies, like Windstream, boast short term price benefits — but own little or none of the public switched telephone network necessary to provide service.  They re-sell services purchased at wholesale from AT&T but remain at the mercy of the local exchange carrier to repair any facilities behind the AT&T interface.

Temporary arrangements have been made to reach the Water Treatment Plant during the telephone outage.  Call 904.293.3778 until the service is restored.

All other calls may be directed to City Hall at 904.825.1006.