Comcast & Centurylink provide internet restoration timelines for SWFL customers

Internet issues continue to be a struggle for people all across Southwest Florida. NBC2 is getting dozens of messages daily about connectivity concerns regarding Comcast and CenturyLink.

Both companies say at this point, it’s more individual neighborhoods and homes with issues like a down wire that’s causing delays. The timelines for each of these companies to get the internet fully restored are vastly different.

This information is from CenturyLink:

Lease Internet Outages Estimated Full Restoration*
Charlotte 1,120 By end of November
Necklace 1,040 By end of November
DeSoto 65 By end of October
Lee–North of Caloosahatchee(Cape Coral, North Cape Coral, North Fort Myers, Pine Island) 3,200 By end of February
Lee – South of Caloosahatchee(Fort Myers, Bonita Springs, Iona, Estero) 2,177 By mid-December

*Incremental restorations will happen each week; this is the estimate for having all services restored

Jay Leis is one of their customers in Cape Coral who cannot work because of his internet being down. He also cannot submit insurance claims or upload evidence of the damage to his house.

“As far as going onto any type of website, it’s just really not feasibly possible. It’s like being back in 1994,” he said. “For 21 days we’ve been out of internet service. It is very frustrating and I understand they’ve had damages to the trunk equipment that feeds this area. I understand that. What I don’t understand is their lack of communication.”

“I hope they’re not automatically going to the worst-case scenario and then people get it back in a week or two,” Cape Coral councilman Tom Hayden said about the CenturyLink timeline. “I would like to see again, a little more specificity with them on what their plans are going to be to restore power.”

CenturyLink could not accommodate our request for an interview but sent the following email responses to our questions today.

What specific areas may not have internet until next year? Are we talking only about the barrier islands or parts of Cape Coral as well?

  • CenturyLink expects to restore additional home internet services each week but, due to the extensive damage in these areas, it could take some time before all services are restored.

Will customers have any resort of credit for the time they missed?

Customers can contact us about service credits using one of these methods below:

  • CenturyLink customers: visit here.
  • Quantum Fiber customers: visit here.
  • CenturyLink customers: 800-201-4099
  • Quantum Fiber customers: 833-250-6306

What can they do to expedite any services?

Customers without service should report that so we have a ticket for their repairs. This allows us to monitor the volume of outages by area as we work to restore services.

  • Customers who would like to communicate with a CenturyLink or Quantum Fiber representative to report an outage can connect with us most effectively through chat by using these links, which are accessible by mobile device:

o CenturyLink customers: visit here.

o Quantum Fiber customers: visit here.

  • Customers can also call us using these numbers:

o CenturyLink customers: 800-201-4099

o Quantum Fiber customers: 833-250-6306

We also reached out to Comcast who provides internet services. Their timeline is as follows:
“Even in the areas where the entire infrastructure of the community was destroyed like in Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel Island, Captiva and in Pine Island, we are estimating that services will be restored in November and at the latest by mid-December. You can find the restoration timeline attached here.

“We’re now at the point where for the vast majority of what is left, the customers that need to be restored, we’re dealing with a lot of individual home issues, a lot of what we call drop lines, these are the lines that kind of connect individual homes for a network,” Mindy Kramer said. “We haven’t forgotten anybody, but we know there’s that remaining group that still needs to get their service back,” the Comcast representative said for many Southwest Florida communities, 90% of customers are restored and they’re aware of those who aren ‘t.

“You don’t need to wait on the phone, you don’t need to go to the store. We know that your service address does not have our Xfinity services back up and running. Our folks are absolutely working on it,” Kramer said.

“We know there are still customers without service because there are still lines that need to be repaired in their neighborhood or at their home. We are monitoring the network 24/7 and can see that their devices are not online. For those customers in the efficiently restored areas who are still without service, here is what we are doing:

  • Our crews are restoring the drop lines that connects these homes to our network. To date, teams have replaced more than 14,000 drops
  • Our network maintenance teams are repairing damaged nodes located in individual neighborhoods
  • In places like Cape Haze, Fort Myers and Cape Coral, there are still parts of our network that must operate on generator due to not having commercial power. This can cause service interruptions to already restored customers.
  • Our tech ops teams are handling issues that are in customer homes, replacing damaged equipment like modems and checking all of the connections that may have been damaged from the storm.”

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