The Great Internet Outage of 2018


The great Spectrum internet outage in Great Falls has finally come to an end; it lasted from about 7 p.m. on Thursday until about 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

SO MANY PEOPLE were upset, and understandably so. It was a major inconvenience for a lot of people, and a lot of businesses, too. It also affected a lot of Spectrum cable TV channels. People who rely on home internet for their income and students doing homework were hit really hard, and their anger is also understandable.

But some of the online rage against Spectrum? Absolutely ridiculous. Some people were behaving as if Spectrum deliberately caused the outage, and even “slow rolling” the repairs.

Granted, Spectrum’s public comments about the issue were extremely lame and VERY limited, which I think was a major foul on their part. I think Spectrum would have been smart to announce the outage publicly — on their website, on Facebook — and give people as much information as they knew (how it happened, where it happened, how they were working to fix it, why it was taking so long). Then they should have announced that all affected customers would receive a decent credit on their next bill for the inconvenience — say perhaps $25. I am baffled that Spectrum didn’t do that.

As for people demanding a credit, or threatening to not pay until they receive a credit: CALM DOWN. Let’s assume, for the sake of argument, that a person pays $90 per month for Spectrum internet. That works out to $3 per day. So losing service for about two days would work out to about $6 — hardly an amount worth fighting about, or getting super-angry about. YES, I understand that there’s a principle involved — getting service that you pay for — but it seems that some people think that losing 45 hours of service somehow equates to a disproportionate sense of outrage. By all means, people should request a credit on their next bill from Spectrum, but a bit less outrage would be nice.

I’ve been with Spectrum (AT&T, Bresnan, Charter) since I arrived in Great Falls back 2002, and I love it. Over the last eight years (in my current residence), I can literally only think of three times that I have lost service. It’s easy to complain about the price, because hey, who wouldn’t want to pay less? But honestly, the value that I get is absolutely worth the price.

As for me: well, my world revolves around online stuff, so I have a backup: my handy Verizon “jet pack” hotspot. Fired it up, good to go. It was a wee bit slower than Spectrum, but barely noticeable.

2 Comments

  • Tim Dallacqua (#)
    October 6th, 2018

    “I think Spectrum would have been smart to announce the outage publicly — on their website, on Facebook — and give people as much information as they knew (how it happened, where it happened, how they were working to fix it, why it was taking so long)” Would people without internet been able to read this on their website or facebook?

  • david (#)
    October 7th, 2018

    I suspect the vast majority of people would — remember, it was HOME internet through Spectrum that was out. People were still surfing the web, checking FB, sending email, etc, from their cell phones.

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