Telephone Problems Plague Neck District in Dorchester County - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Telephone Problems Plague Neck District in Dorchester County

THOMAS, Md.- In the Neck District, cell phones don't work too well, and many homeowners would prefer to use a landline.  However, the landlines aren't much more reliable.

You may remember a home that was destroyed by fire in the end of 2013.  The entire building burnt to the ground because the the fire department did not arrive in time.  That's because the lines were down, a common occurrence in the area, and the alarm was not sent to the fire company.

Neighbors say whenever it floods in the area, the box containing the phone wires gets wet, and the service cuts out.  For Chris Franke, it's an unfortunate fact of life in the Neck District.

"It goes out regularly.  I'd say on a good month it goes out twice, sometimes it's out for a long time.  I had phone service out a month or two ago for the better part of a month." said Franke.

But he says it isn't just an inconvenience, it's a safety concern.  One that his neighbor down the street, Lorraine Sturm, is all to familiar with.  Last summer she was suffering complications from a surgery, but could not call for an ambulance to get her to the hospital.

"I ended up going into the middle of the street and flagging someone down to take me to the hospital.  I had no choice, and I was unconscious by the time I got to the hospital.  If that person didn't stop I probably would have died." said Sturm.

She's better now, but the phone lines aren't.  She wants Verizon to do more to fix the problem.

"Why should one of our neighbors have to lose their home, burned straight to the ground, just because Verizon won't fix the phone lines?" said Sturm.

Verizon representatives attended a recent Dorchester County Council meeting, and said they would be looking at ways to improve service to that western corner of the county.  When asked if a cell phone tower was an option, they replied that Verizon had people that conducted surveys of where towers would be useful, but they were not privy to that information, as Verizon Wireless is a separate company.  They also denied rumors that the company would stop supplying wired service to homes.

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