Internet service returned for many around midday Saturday after a two-day outage covering much of East Texas, from what a local cable company says was a problem not caused in this area.
Customers of Longview-Kilgore Cable’s Cablelynx service were still without WiFi on Saturday morning, having originally went down Thursday afternoon due to what a statement from the company called a “multi-level carrier failure” disrupted service.
The service loss occurred after other companies’ fiber lines were cut in the Dallas area, they said.
The company made regular updates on Facebook, and posted this around 11:45 a.m. Saturday: “
The internet is back online with one of the three carriers. ATT completed repairs and your internet should be back up. We can see most all modems are online.
Credits to accounts do not need to be requested due to the lengthy outage but an announcement will be made on Monday about the credits.
The other carriers are still working on repairs but expect Level 3 to be back up soon. This doesn’t impact you directly but is good to share.”
Frustrations were higher on Friday following this Friday evening update, which got over 500 responses.
“All crews continue to work to restore service,” that statement read. “There is not an ETR (estimated restoration time) provided to share with you. We will update again when there is significant news or hopefully to announce everyone should be back online.”
The statement goes on to read there was never an estimated time of restoration, in spite of at least one apparently being listed in the Longview News-Journal at one point.
Calls to Kilgore Cable locally on Saturday morning prior to service’s restoration immediately prompted callers to hit a button if they were affected.
“If you’re experiencing problems with your internet service, choose option 7,” the message stated.
When option 7 is pressed, a different, updated message played.
“Due to a multilevel carrier failure with Windstream, Level 3, and AT&T, the circuits that we lease (inaudible) in the market of Longview, Kilgore and Hallsville are down. All of our subscribers have been without internet and Cablelynx phone service since 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 7. The outage is larger than our service area, and crews with these carriers have been working to restore service non-stop since the outage started. There is not an estimated time of restoration provided at this time. We can assist by providing a letter to your employer or school regarding the outage. Send your request to email@example.com, or by Facebook Messenger to Longview Cable TV on Facebook.”
After the message, callers were advised that call-times may be longer than usual, and operators are answering phones for customers’ questions. The News Herald actually talked to an operator on Saturday morning and was told politely that crews were continuing to work on the outage.
A letter Friday was more in depth.
“Our lines and plant are not damaged. There is not any work locally that we can do to restore the service,” said a letter from the cable company to customers on Friday. “We lease their circuits to deliver our broadband services and we have three carriers for redundancy purposes to ensure our customers would not be impacted if one or the other went down. To have a failure of all three companies at one time is just not typical. It is important to note that this multi-level carrier failure has impacted many more communities and providers with customers like you beyond our service area including parts of Texas and Arkansas. So there are many people working to restore as fast as possible.”
The company’s eMTA phone services also were affected.
Longview-Kilgore Cable is working with the three affected carriers to offer assistance and to provide updated information to customers, the letter says. Windstream said it had identified the cut in its system and expected to start repairs around noon today. Level 3 (Lumen) also had located its fiber cut and started repairs. ATT also has located where its fiber cut occurred and said it would start repairs around 4 p.m. The company could not provide a restoration time.
“To say we understand the impact of losing your internet service would be an understatement,” the Longview-Kilgore Cable letter says. “We are aware our subscribers use the internet for more than entertainment and rely on our services for medical needs, business operations, employment and educational programs. There are many asking about credits to the account and can assure you that we agree our subscribers should be compensated on their bill for the days they were not able to use the service. At this time, the focus is on restoring the service and once that is complete, we will answer the questions regarding credits to the account.”