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Residents Cope with Internet Outages

By Staff | Jan 11, 2017

MIDDLEBOURNE — Internet service has been spotty to say the least during the past few weeks in parts of Tyler County.

Rosann Eastham said lack of internet and phone service has made things difficult for her family.

“This latest rant about Frontier is due to me being without internet or phone for two days and my father-in-law not having phone or internet for almost two weeks,” she said. “I made numerous calls to the customer service number of Frontier and the number they gave me for the office of the president of Frontier. I was assured that my father-in-law was on the medical expedite list for getting his service restored. There were at least 30 other people without service for the same amount of time and several of them are older and really should not be without phone.”

Frontier Communications spokesman Andy Malinoski said there was a two-day period when a piece of equipment did fail in December, however, it has been replaced and the system is operational. He said a back-up system is in place to help address this type of situation in the future.

“We apologize for the inconvenience and hope our customers will contact the company in the future when they experience a service outage,” he said.

Eastham blames Frontier more than Mother Nature.

“I am really tired of all the excuses Frontier gives us for not having reliable service,” she said. “I understand Mother Nature can cause problems, but I feel that some of the issues could be resolved if the equipment was brought up to date. In today’s technology based society, there surely is some way Frontier can provide better service. This problem would not be so bad if we could actually get cell service in our area.”

Karen Lancaster of Middlebourne said she relies on internet to contact friends and family, so when Lancaster’s internet went down again she contacted the state Attorney Generals’ office. If Lancaster’s phone goes out, she has to go to great lengths to reach anyone.

“That’s what I said in my letter that my five siblings and I keep in touch by Facebook private message about family news and events,” she said. “We also depend on the Google Calendar for notifications of kid events, like ball games and plays. Because I thought I knew when my niece’s choral concert was, but couldn’t double-check on the calendar, we were an hour late and missed her singing. I stay in touch with relatives in other states and because I wasn’t responding, they probably thought I didn’t care. We don’t have cell phone service out here, so if the phone IS out, we have to go to the top of the hill to call.”

Eastham said she contacted the state’s Public Utility Commission, Congressman David McKinley’s office and spoke to state Senator Bill Maroney about this problem. She said McKinley’s office is compiling a list of all complaints and suggested that anyone having trouble also call the WV PUC and file a complaint with the FCC.

“I hope that something can be done to correct the Frontier issues before someone has a medical emergency and cannot get help,” she said.

Anyone with questions or comments should call the state’s Public Utility Commission at 1-800-642-8544 and the FCC at consumercomplaints.fcc.gov.

Also, Malinoski advises people to contact Frontier Communications about any service disruptions. The company’s website – frontier.com – lists this number: 1-800-921-8101.