Individual customers, private companies and public service providers were impacted to one degree or another by a roughly eight-hour disruption in service provided by Charter Communications on Thursday.
According to Jessica Hardecke, senior manager, communications with Charter, the problem started shortly before 11 a.m. when a utility crew working near Madison on Route 151 inadvertently damaged Charter’s fiber optic line. The break impacted Charter TV, Internet and phone services to customers in Hannibal, Palmyra, Monroe City and Paris.
“Charter technical crews were at the location within minutes of the outage report and continued to work swiftly in order to restore services as soon as possible,” said Hardecke. “Charter service was fully restored within approximately eight hours. We regret the service interruption and the inconvenience it caused to our customers.”
One Hannibal woman, who spoke on the condition she not be identified, cited the irony of the outage which came just a couple of days after her family had switched to Charter for its phone and Internet service.
Marion County 911, which less than a month ago switched to Charter as its Internet provider, experienced a “minor inconvenience,” according to Director Mike Hall.
“It prompted us to go to our backup Internet, which worked fine,” he said.
The outage was more of a headache for the Marion County Ambulance District, according to John Nemes, district director.
“It’s a major inconvenience for us,” he said. “We couldn’t upload any of our patient reports, truck checks, or things like that. Our software is Web-based. Our computers retained that data so when we did get an Internet connection it could sync and upload, but during the outage we weren’t able to do any of that.”
The loss of Internet service was also noted at the Police Department.
“It didn’t affect any of the abilities for us to do services for the city of Hannibal, but it did affect some of our communications only that our dispatch center couldn’t see our data base down here,” said Sgt. Darrin DeLaPorte. “We also have some redundancy to our Internet service. When the Internet service went down and we knew it wasn’t coming back up in a fairly short period of time, we just switched over to our redundant service and continued to do business.”
At the Hannibal Clinic, Internet and TV service was disrupted, according to Jenny Webb, public relations/marketing coordinator.