Press Release

CenturyTel works to restore service in southern Alabama

For Immediate Release: 9/17/2004

Batteries and generators kept most of CenturyTel's 390,000 Alabama lines equipped with phone and computer service throughout Hurricane Ivan’s visit. As of 12 noon Friday (9/17) about 22,000 CenturyTel customers remained without either dial tone, or unable to connect long distance calls. These estimates will fluctuate up and down as commercial power becomes available in areas with extended outages.

The situation is also dependent on neighboring phone companies. CenturyTel has received additional generators and other resources from its properties in Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas. A full damage assessment will not be available until each switch and remote facility is accessible and powered. Primary trouble spots include Dauphin Island and Bayou La Batre, west Covington County, and Butler and Crenshaw Counties. Technicians are being dispatched to each area as safety permits.

Although customers may have dial tone, it is possible that access to some toll facilities may be affected due to the larger call volumes experienced by the network as customers check on family and friends in areas that have been impacted. Customers may experience call blockages or get an “all circuits busy” message during these types of events.

Customers who experience a telephone or service outage and have access to a working telephone should contact CenturyTel's repair center at 800-824-2877.