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Some Harford AT&T landline customers faced blackout Tuesday

Some businesses in the Bel Air area had problems with AT&T service throughout the day Tuesday because of a cut cable, the communications company said.

Several merchants along Main Street were having difficulties processing payments.

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An AT&T spokeswoman said the issue was happening throughout the Baltimore area but said it was not believed to be a widespread problem.

"Due to a third-party cable cut, a limited number of AT&T business customers in the Baltimore area may be experiencing issues with landline services," spokeswoman Alexa Kaufman said Tuesday afternoon.

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"Barring anything unforeseen, we hope to have this resolved overnight tonight," she said. "Technicians are working to repair the damage as quickly as possible. We apologize for this inconvenience."

"The physical cable that hold the fiber optic lines that serve this particular group of businesses was somehow severed (ever heard the Miss Utility ad about checking before digging?)," Kaufman wrote in an e-mail. "I'm told it is not a widespread issue."

Those with AT&T service on their cell phones did not seem to be having problems.

Five postal customers who in the lobby of the Bel Air post office Tuesday afternoon said they used providers other than AT&T.

But one woman, Anne Gessner of Bel Air, said she had AT&T telephone service and had had no trouble accessing the Internet thorough her smartphone.

She even pulled out her phone to double check.

"I'm fine," she said.

Richard Shepler, owner of Paintball Pandemic in the Stack & Store shopping center at Tollgate Road and Boulton Street in Bel Air, said he is not a AT&T customer, rather Comcast for his business telephone and Internet service.

But he also noted his service has gone down about eight times recently, for about eight to 12 hours each time.

"I can't conduct business," Shepler said of the impact of losing service. "I can't make credit card transactions, I can't make Internet sales, I can't use my social media; I'm basically back to the Stone Age."

He added, however, that he could conduct cash transactions as long as he had electricity.

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