Comcast & Centurylink provide timelines for internet restoration for SWFL customers

Internet issues continue to be a struggle for people across Southwest Florida. NBC2 receives dozens of messages every day about problems related to Comcast and CenturyLink.

Both companies say at this time more individual neighborhoods and homes with issues such as cable causing delays. The timelines for each of these companies to fully restore the Internet are vastly different.

This information is from CenturyLink:

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

*Incremental restorations will occur every week; this is an estimate for the renewal of all services

Jay Leis is one of their customers in Cape Coral who can’t work because his internet is down. He also cannot file insurance claims or upload evidence of damage to his home.

“As far as going to any kind of website, it’s just not feasible. “It’s like I’m back in 1994,” he said. “We have been without internet service for 21 days. It is very frustrating and I understand they have had damage to the tailgate equipment that feeds this area. I understand that. What I don’t understand is their lack of communication.”

“I hope they don’t automatically go into a worst-case scenario and then people come back in a week or two,” Cape Coral Councilman Tom Hayden said of CenturyLink’s timeline. “I would like to see again, a little more concreteness with them on what their plans are going to be to restore power.”

CenturyLink was unable to comply with our request for an interview, but today emailed the following responses to our questions.

Which areas may not have internet until next year? Are we just talking about the barrier islands or parts of Cape Coral?

  • CenturyLink expects to restore additional home Internet services each week, but due to extensive damage in these areas, it may be some time before all services are restored.

Will clients get credit for missed time?

Customers can contact us about service credits using one of the following methods:

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

What can I do to speed up any service?

Customers without service should report it so we have a ticket for their repairs. This allows us to track the extent 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 most efficiently connect with us via chat using these links, accessible via mobile device:

o CenturyLink customers: visit here.

o Quantum Fiber users: visit here.

  • Customers can also call us at these numbers:

o CenturyLink customers: 800-201-4099

o Quantum Fiber customers: 833-250-6306

We also contacted Comcast, which provides Internet service. Their timeline is as follows:
“Even in areas where entire community infrastructure was destroyed such as Fort Myers Beach, Sanibel Island, Captiva and Pine Island, we estimate that services will be restored in November and by mid-December at the latest. You can find the renewal timeline in the attachment here.

“We’re at the point now where for the vast majority of what’s left, the customers that need to be renewed, we’re dealing with a lot of individual home issues, a lot of what we call exit lines, which are the lines that connect individual homes to the grid,” Mindy Kramer said. “We haven’t forgotten anyone, but we know that there is that remaining group that still needs to get their service,” said a Comcast representative for many communities in Southwest Florida, 90% of customers have been returned and they are aware of those who are not ‘t.

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

“We know there are still customers without service because there are still lines that need fixing in their neighborhood or at home. We monitor the network 24/7 and see that their devices are offline. For those customers in mostly rebuilt areas who are still without service, here’s what we’re doing:

  • Our crews are restoring the drain lines that connect these homes to our network. To date, teams have exchanged more than 14,000 drops
  • Our network maintenance teams repair damaged nodes located in individual neighborhoods
  • In places like Cape Haze, Fort Myers and Cape Coral, there are still parts of our grid that have to run on generators because they don’t have commercial power. This may cause service interruptions for already renewed users.
  • Our technical operations teams are troubleshooting problems that occur in customers’ homes, replacing damaged equipment such as modems and checking any connections that may have been damaged by the storm.”

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