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Internet outages are now rolling into Day 10 for hundreds of thousands of residents and businesses in South Florida. And for many, no internet means no business gets done.
Statewide, more than 1.1 million people statewide were withough Internet or cable services but it is not broken down by county, according to data the carriers reported to the Federal Communications Commission on Sunday. But judging by the frustration being vented on social media by AT&T, Comcast and Atlantic Broadband customers in South Florida, this could be where the majority of outages are.
Since Hurricane Irma sideswiped South Florida with tropical-storm-force winds more than a week ago, the carriers have not released outage numbers by county nor much about causes or estimated times of recovery to the media or to their customers in South Florida.
For many who have taken their frustrations to social media, doing business without the internet has ranged from a challenge to the impossible. Some car dealerships can take customers on test drives but reportedly can’t write up sales without the internet to process them. Restaurants and fast-food eateries such as McDonald’s have become cash-only enterprises because they don’t have the internet.
Also suffering are the thousands who work at home, such as Michelle Bielecki, a freelance copywriter in Kendall. She also has a toddler under toe — who is demanding Netflix.
“I’ve tried being reasonable with AT&T, but they don’t know anything, continually lie, and then recommended downloading their app or buying the new iPhone,” she said.
Bielecki said she was even told she wasn’t part of the outage and her internet is working. It’s not. “I’ve heard no actual facts about when I’ll get my internet back,” she said on Monday.
Nicholas Frankovich, who writes and edits for National Review from his home office in Coral Gables, has heard from his provider, Comcast, but he’s also frustrated. Post-Irma, his Comcast service came back up in Coral Gables – or so he thought.
He said service has been in and out since, with outages particularly frequent at night. Comcast told him a terminal that his service is delivered through was out, and his estimated date of service repair was moved from Monday to Tuesday, with a lot of hedging.
“And is Comcast’s talk of free Internet through Xfinity hotspots a ruse? It doesn’t work for me,” he said.
This report will be updated. Follow @ndahlberg on Twitter.