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CenturyLink Adds Back-Up Line in Dubuque to Avoid Internet Outages

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DUBUQUE, Iowa - CenturyLink announced Wednesday a $ 2.3 million investment could keep major internet outages from happening in Dubuque.

The announcement comes almost one year after what some people in Dubuque call "The 2012 Black Out". One June 12, 2012 a construction worker hit a fiber optic cable which caused dozens of businesses to loose internet connection and land line phone service for 4.5 hours. The outage included the Dubuque County 9-1-1 service. Officials from CenturyLink say they've since added a second fiber optic cable that will serve as a back-up in case the primary line fails.

From the kitchen of her Dubuque home, Jessica Mihalakis runs "Send Out Cards". Thatt's an online greeting card business.

Mihalakis said, "it comes directly in the mail. It is a physical greeting card, all for about a buck. "

All she needs is her lap-top computer and an internet connection.

"Without the internet we have no business and I do mean that literally," said Mihalakis.

Business owners tested life without the world wide web during the 2012 outage. That widespread internet outage brought John Deere Dubuque Works, Dubuque's largest employer, to its knees.

John Deere Dubuque Works General Manager Byron Taylor "That inhibited our ability to run our manufacturing execution system. So we had to fall back to a manual system. "

CenturyLink says the secondary line was already in the works before the outage caused people to scramble.

CenturyLink's Tim White said, "The redundancy supplies a second line so if one gets cut the other picks up. "

It's an on-line lifeline for business owners, like Mihalakis, who simply can't function without it.

Dubuque Economic Development officials say later this month they plan to announce a new I.T. business set to expand in Dubuque. They say without CenturyLink's second cable, the new business wouldn't have considered Dubuque for that expansion.