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Southeast Alaska community says it's experiencing 'major' AT&T service issues

 The City of Angoon, Alaska (KTUU)
The City of Angoon, Alaska (KTUU) (KTUU)
Published: Feb. 2, 2020 at 11:20 AM AKST
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The City of Angoon, Alaska has been experiencing "major" AT&T service issues for two weeks, according to Angoon Mayor Joshua Bowen.

Bowen says AT&T planned to fix the problem by Jan. 25, but repairs have been postponed until this coming Wednesday. The outage is increasing strain on the small, isolated island community, according to Bowen.

“It’s definitely not helping the already tense situation in Angoon,” Bowen said. “It’s been a wild winter weather-wise, so freight and mail delivered via floatplane have been extremely backed up, and then in the middle of January we lose cell service!”

Angoon is one of several coastal communities hit hard by funding cuts to the Alaska Marine Highway System. Gov. Mike Dunleavy vetoed $5 million in AMHS funding,

The cuts have led to reduced winter ferry schedules.

“We're feeling pretty cut off from the world these days, and we're a half hour flight from the capital of Alaska!” Bowen said.

Channel 2 asked multiple questions of AT&T, including: when the issue started; how many Alaskan communities have been impacted; what the company has done up to this point to address the issue; and a timeline to get services back online.

AT&T spokespeople responded with the following statement:

"We are aware some wireless customers in the Angoon area may be experiencing issues with their service. Weather has delayed our efforts to safely reach the site, which is only accessible by helicopter. We appreciate our customers’ patience as we work to restore service as quickly and safely as conditions allow."

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