Fire causes Spectrum internet, cable outages in L.A.

A fire caused a major disruption Sunday to internet and cable service for Spectrum customers in the Los Angeles area.

The telecommunications giant said the fire broke out Sunday shortly before 10 a.m. at a South Los Angeles overpass and damaged the company’s fiber optic lines. Spectrum first publicly acknowledged outages at 11:28 a.m. on Twitter. But Down Detector, a company that tracks social media reports on outages, said customer grievances began to pour in at 9 a.m.

Spectrum said most of those affected live in South Los Angeles, but customers in southeast Los Angeles, Ladera Heights, Hyde Park and Mid-City also complained of outages. By 7 p.m., 3,000 complaints had been posted to social media, according to Down Detector. Some customers said they had been without services for up to seven hours.

“Our engineers are working to replace and repair the fiber as soon as possible to restore our services,” Spectrum said in an emailed statement Sunday at 7:45 p.m.

Subscribers complained they were unable to complete homework, work from home and watch streaming services. They worried the outage would bleed into the workday Monday and said the situation underscored an overreliance on technology as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ground many people in their homes.

Spectrum said service would be fully restored overnight.

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