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Verizon service restored for 17,000 customers

EAST MANATEE — Verizon officials said today that 17,000 customers lost telephone service after a Manatee County construction contractor cut a fiber optic line Tuesday.

Workers restored phone service for 15,000 of those customers by 9:30 p.m., and the finial 2,000 got service back at 3 a.m. this morning, Verizon spokeswoman Sharon Shaffer said.

Shaffer said workers had to repair 1,000 feet of fiber optic line after the contractor severed it at State Road 70 and 34th Street East. Verizon officials are currently conducting a study to assess how much the repairs cost the company, Shaffer said.

“It was a project of enormous complexity, and we are still looking into exactly how much it impacted our customers,” she said.