MT. JULIET, Tenn. (WTVF) — Thousands of people woke up to no phones or internet service Friday morning in Mt. Juliet, causing some major issues all across the area. "It’s been quiet because the phones haven’t been ringing," one city employee told us.
The outage was first reported around 8:30 am, silencing most calls coming into Mt. Juliet City Hall. "It’s spotty, you don’t know what’s working you don’t know what’s not," said Mt. Juliet spokesperson Justin Beasley.
The outage also impacted 9 different Wilson County Schools, mostly in the Mt. Juliet area, according to school spokesperson Bart Barker. It forced teachers that rely on lesson plans that involve the internet to make last second changes.
Homes and businesses that use TDS Telecom for phone and internet also reported spotty service. "It’s coming back in spurts, some people have phones, some people have internet. And -- no rhyme or reason as to who has it and why other people don’t," said Beasley.
Thankfully, the most urgent calls that went to Mt. Juliet Police and Fire still went through. "If you call dispatch, you’re going to get dispatch. If you call the normal 911 or the normal Mt. Juliet Police department, you’re going to get dispatch. Somebody is going to be on the other line," said Beasley.
Beasley says that's because the community invested in the future through a lesson from the past. "You know Mt. Juliet has been on the unfortunate end of two tornadoes and we’ve had to have emergency back up systems, we’ve had to have phones that could work for our emergency personnel," he said.
By Friday afternoon, TDS reported on it's website that all systems were back online, but if you were still experiencing issues, call them at 1-888-225-5837.
That could mean a quiet Friday at Mt. Juliet City Hall, could result in a manic Monday. "We’ll make sure nobody is hung out to dry as far as paying a bill or trying to get service. We’re going to try our best to make sure that they get that -- and we’re going to have some grace," said Beasley.
NewsChannel 5 reached out to TDS Telecom to see if they could share the reason for the outage, but so far we haven't heard back.