Call for Action success: Madison musician helped after months without phone service

OREGON, Wis. — A Madison music icon called for action after losing access to internet and phone service for nearly two months.

You might recognize James Latimer; he’s a storied Madison musician, spending years as a University of Wisconsin music professor, a member of the Madison Symphony and most recently, the director of the Capitol City Band. Clearly, he loves music – so when his house went eerily silent earlier this year, he was thrown off. His phone service, provided by Frontier Communications, had disappeared.

“We depended on the phone service, because band members would call, and some members of the public would call to get verified information about the band,” he said.
Latimer says Frontier gave him the runaround for weeks, with no answers to his inquiry. His phone was off the hook for a total of 58 days during that time.

“I don’t want to bash the company, but I’ve never run across a bus operating like that,” Latimer said. “I didn’t know you could stay in business doing that.”

The difference came after Latimer got in touch with News 3 Now’s Call for Action team. Days after a conversation with a CFA volunteer, crews showed up in Latimer’s front yard.

“Things started to happen,” he said. “Machinery rolled in, workmen rolled in, supervisors came in, there were about a dozen people out there.”

In just two hours, workmen ran a line under the highway outside the house and into the driveway to make a connection and get the phone line working again. That dial tone was music to Latimer’s ears.

“You literally moved mountains,” he told us. “We watched them come in here with heavy-duty machinery, drop it down into the ground and come from the highway into the yard – I mean, it’s just amazing.”

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