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Business

WOW outage problems traced to conduit infiltration at bridge; customers to be offered refunds for service disruption

WOW's headquarters at 1 Riverfront Plaza are pictured in this Journal-World file photo.

WOW's headquarters at 1 Riverfront Plaza are pictured in this Journal-World file photo.

January 9, 2017

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The problem that caused WOW Internet service disruptions on Saturday and Sunday has been identified and repaired, a spokesman for the company said.

Josh Hadden-Leggett, WOW corporate communications manager, said service to customers in the Lawrence area was disrupted Sunday starting about 2 p.m. The severed line that caused the outage was repaired by about 8:30 p.m. Some customers saw service restored at that time, but others were brought back online throughout the evening until 11 p.m. as WOW systems were being reconfigured, he said.

Sunday’s outage followed a more than four-hour service disruption on Saturday.

The severed cable was a data line, so service disruption was limited to the internet and voice mail, Hadden-Leggett said. It did not disrupt regular phone lines or cable television.

WOW is offering refunds for the time customers were without service, Hadden-Leggett said.

The problems were traced to the cable line of Level 3 Communications, one of the companies WOW contracts to bring service to Lawrence, Hadden-Leggett said. Water and ice infiltrated the conduit that encloses the cable at a bridge, severing the fiber line inside, he said. A repair crew thought it addressed the issue Saturday, but the same problem happened again Sunday at the same place, he said.

The outage inconvenienced residents and businesses throughout Lawrence. Valerie Taylor, marketing manager for The Merc, said the store was without internet for about an hour Saturday before its backup service was activated. During that time, the store was unable to process credit or debit cards and could only take cash or checks. That required the store to return a few customers’ intended purchases to shelves, she said.

The store was able to quickly switch to its backup provider Sunday, Taylor said.

Retailers without backup arrangements weren’t so fortunate. Sarah Soderling, general manger of Limestone Pizza on Massachusetts Street, said the store wrote out charge slips Saturday for customers paying with debit or credit cards. It was a workable system, but many customers, especially younger ones, were inexperienced with it, she said.

“Customers didn’t understand the process of giving card information on a piece of paper,” she said. “Some were uncomfortable about sharing card information, as they should be.”

Limestone went through 100 charge slips on Saturday and ran out of the slips when the internet went down Sunday, Soderling said. With that, she made the decision to close the restaurant at 5:30 p.m. instead of its traditional 8 p.m. closing time.

The outage might not have cost Limestone business, but it slowed the rate of business, Soderling said. The inconvenience continued for Limestone when employees entered slips manually for processing, she said. The processor also adds a fee for all manually entered card charges, she said.

Comments

Mel Wedermyer 3 months, 2 weeks ago

About 6:15 on Monday I noticed I was without an internet connection. Rebooted my Modem, Wireless router and computer 3 times before I got a connection to the internet. I thought "Oh NO not again". On Saturday and Sunday I didn't need to reboot my internet connection just came back. Oh, I'll be glad when Midco takes over for WOW.

Paul Beyer 3 months, 2 weeks ago

And how will an ownership change affect weather caused outages?

Doyle Coons 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Another new company buying them out? Wow, isn't that about the 4th company to own the internet company in the last 10 yrs or so? Must not be a big money maker! My bill just went up $25 recently. They said in a year it will go up another $75 because we will no longer be on their "intro" plan. SO, about $150 for highest speed internet??? People will be flocking to AT&T. Much slower, but much much cheaper! No wonder they sold it. They know they will be loosing customers when their price goes up! What's our city doing to attract another ISP to town? Google, where are you?

Scott Burkhart 3 months, 2 weeks ago

I love the comment about some of the younger employees at Limestone Pizza not being experienced with it. I love today's technology but we have reached a point that without it, we are severely crippled.

Rick Masters 3 months, 2 weeks ago

I hope someone's been stockpiling phone books.

Allan Dalton 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Try the brick & mortar Public Library @ 7th & Vermont. They are up to date.

There they have actual covered BOOKS w/printed pages & sometimes pictures.

There you can ascend to a tactile nirvana next to none, plus look up phone numbers.

Doyle Coons 3 months, 2 weeks ago

My Wow internet only bill just went up $25 recently. They said in a year it will go up another ~$75 because we will no longer be on their "intro" plan. SO, about $150 for highest speed internet??? No wonder they sold it. They know they will be loosing customers when their price goes up! People will be flocking to AT&T. Much slower, but much, much cheaper! What's our city doing to attract another ISP to town? Google, where are you?

Adrian Turner 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Only Internet and voice mail were interupted. I have phone service through WOW and it was not working as well, since it relies on my wireless router to hook up. I want my money back from this so called truthful company.

Delana Lee 3 months, 2 weeks ago

Is anyone else still experiencing sluggish, spotty, and/or slow data transfer?

Clara Westphal 3 months, 1 week ago

How does a customer apply for the refund?

Bruce Liddel 3 months, 1 week ago

My uneducated guess is that reporters for the LJWorld do not adhere to the old rule about confirming facts before publishing, and are willing to rely on single sources. I can't believe that I was the only customer with no dial tone for about 40 minutes on SUNDAY. Internet was out for much longer, but it is amusing that someone would tell me my phone service was not interrupted, when it most certainly was.

Richard Heckler 3 months, 1 week ago

the city should takeover internet service across the board because it is so important to any community.

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