(AP)—Windstream Communications is recovering from a major outage that knocked out long-distance telephone service and blocked toll-free calls to its business customers.
The Little Rock, Ark., company says the trouble began 11:30 a.m. ET Monday. By around 5 p.m., Windstream says service had been restored to all but a handful of customers.
It's still unclear how many customers lost service. Windstream spokesman Scott Morris characterized the outage as wide-ranging. The cause is still being investigated.
The company, which is part of Windstream Corp., sells phone service to 1.8 million households in 48 states and the District of Columbia. Most of those customers live in rural areas. Windstream also has about 638,000 business customers, including some in major cities.
Windstream says its high-speed Internet access and digital television services weren't affected by Monday's outage.
Explore further: Comcast abandons Time Warner Cable bid after gov't pushback