Internet, phone outages wreak havoc again

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For the second time in the span of a little more than a week, internet outages involving different service providers have wreaked havoc across the country for people trying to do business or enjoy some entertainment.

In Northwest Montana, Spectrum customers were once again dealing with outages Friday and into Saturday. But those with no or poor internet connections weren’t alone as outages were reported on Spectrum’s map in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, Dallas, Detroit, Orlando, St. Louis and Charlotte. There were also outages in Idaho, Washington, Oregon, Utah and Wyoming.

One resident who lives in Somers commented on Spectrum’s problems calling it a “horrible month for customers.” The person said he worked from home full time and needed his internet service. He said he used Verizon cell phone as a backup, but because everyone else did, it basically stopped working, too.

The phone system at the Daily Inter Lake has been out of operation for the better part of the last 30 hours. As a result, the Inter Lake has been unable to accept customer service phone calls regarding delivery of the Saturday edition. It apologized for the inconvenience and had someone working to correct the problem.

Phone calls were rerouted to cell phones later in the day Saturday and customers were asked to call 758-4430 to reach the newsroom and 758-4426 to reach the sports desk.

Attempts to reach Spectrum were unsuccessful. It wasn’t immediately known what caused the outage.

The outages that occurred Dec. 23 were similar to what occurred this weekend. Most of the reported problems dealt with internet service, 65 percent; TV, 13.47 percent; and total blackout, 7.36 percent.

As they did last week, Montana Sky customers fared better in the Flathead.

Acording to an Associated Press report Friday, CenturyLink said engineers identified a problem that left customers across the country without internet service and expected to restore it within hours.

The company said Thursday night the problem involved a “network element” that was affecting services but didn’t provide details.

The outages reported Thursday afternoon stretched from New York to California and even temporarily shut down phone services at the Idaho Department of Correction and knocked out 911 emergency call services in parts of western Washington state.

Most of the trouble appeared to be in the West.

Verizon says it had service interruptions in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and parts of Montana because of issues with CenturyLink, which Verizon said helps handle wireless network data traffic for several providers.

Reporter Scott Shindledecker may be reached at 406-758-4441 or sshindledecker@dailyinterlake.com.

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