PHILADELPHIA — A Bell Atlantic cable in eastern Pennsylvania was cut Wednesday evening, causing telephone outages that stretched at least from New York to Maryland, a company spokeswoman said.
The problem affected both local and long-distance service for customers of AT&T, WorldCom and a variety of other companies, said Sharon Shaffer, a Bell Atlantic spokeswoman in Philadelphia.
In Pennsylvania, the most widespread complaints were coming from the Lancaster area, about 80 miles west of Philadelphia, and western Pennsylvania, including Pittsburgh, she said.
A fiber cable that runs along Route 30 in Lancaster was cut, possibly by construction or an accident in the area, Shaffer said.
The cable carried traffic for a company called Illuminet that in turn provides service for AT&T, WorldCom and other carriers.
"That's why we're seeing such far-reaching impact, not just geographically, but affecting both local and long-distance service," Shaffer said. "It also seems to be dependent upon who you're calling--if that customer subscribes to a certain company."
Shaffer could not say how many people were affected, or estimate when the problem would be resolved.