Barn fire in Bailey puts Comcast Internet out in Steamboat

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When a barn in Bailey burns, Steamboat Springs goes dark.

About 13,000 Comcast customers in Steamboat were left without cable TV, Internet access or phone service Friday after a fiber line burned in a fire more than three hours away in the foothills of the Front Range.

According to officials with the Platte Canyon Fire Department, a barn fire Friday morning was strong enough to burn the fiber optic line that hung above it.

Services were restored to parts of Steamboat Springs beginning at 4:55 p.m.

Comcast Vice President of Public Relations Cindy Parsons said Friday afternoon that crews were dispatched to splice the fiber optic line, which would restore connectivity to Comcast customers in Steamboat.

About 7,500 video customers were affected in Steamboat, she said, and about 13,000 customers were affected total across all the company’s services.

She said that she was only aware of service outages in Steamboat caused by the fire in Bailey.

Steamboat residents crowded Bud Werner Memorial Library on Friday trying to find an Internet connection.

Bud Werner Memorial Library is served by local fixed wireless provider Zirkel Wireless.

Alan Belvo, of Zirkel Wireless, said Friday that they had experienced no outages.

Zirkel offers free service to libraries in the communities it services.

“We upgraded the network this past summer,” Belvo said, adding that their new, faster plans have been selling well but that there are some installation appointments starting to open.

Comments

scott bideau 9 months ago

Comcast needs redundancy. City of Steamboat needs to require it in their franchise agreement renewal (which last time focused only on TV SLAs). Another unfortunate example of the city talking a lot about LNBs but doing very little about it.

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Scott Ford 9 months ago

Hi Scott – Your point is well taken. Thankfully yesterday there were options; however, I too was significantly “handcuffed” with Comcast’s service outage yesterday. They can do better and I hope to learn more about why they are not.

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Scott Wedel 9 months ago

I see no reason why this is anything other than a Comcast internal business decision. If they want to operate without any redundancy then that is their choice. As long as they are not falsely claiming to have a fail safe system then they are free to fail as often as they want.

Personally, I think Comcast is taking a massive risk operating without a redundant network because they could have a failure Sunday when the Broncos are playing and they'd lose customers for life if they lost service during a Broncos Superbowl.

Customers like the above Scotts shouldn't be looking towards government, but should be calling Comcast and demanding a reliable service or take their business elsewhere.

The only possible need for government action in response to this outage might be a requirement that network providers disclose to their customers whether they have redundant connectivity.

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Clay Ogden 9 months ago

Well ... the franchise agreement (which I think only applies to video, not telephone and Internet) should make Comcast's video delivery a city government issue because that agreement grants a local monopoly for cable video service.

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scott bideau 9 months ago

I complain to Comcast each outage. Problem is, they do have somewhat of a monopoly and CenturyLink even more (since CenturyLink owns most if not all the fiber feeding the other carriers). Why would they implement redundancy when no other carrier has it either?

Those waiting on EagleNet will continue doing exactly that, wait.

I suggest the franchise agreement because the lines go over city easements and that is what this agreement is for: to provide the community the best service possible despite the monopolist nature of utilities. Currently it does only cover video, but that is the absurdity of the city's 20th century view on the issue. I found it especially ironic when the Halloween outage of the entire town a few years ago knocked out both the city and county buildings.

I'm hopeful that new management like Scott Ford will actually do something about this.

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scott bideau 9 months ago

I do understand the federal limitations of a "franchise agreement" for operators like Comcast. However, looking at how much city council time, money and debate was spent trying to give one building to one business, I think it's reasonable that the city could produce a solution for the 1,000 location neutral businesses or individual workers out there contributing 8-10% in sales tax revenue each year....especially since reliable Internet would also benefit every government entity, business, local individual, and tourist in the city.

The fiber is already there (CenturyLink has a line going north and looping around to Rifle) - someone just needs to require it be lit up. Seems like a lot easier problem to tackle than selling your fire and police station before even having broke ground on a replacement.

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Chris Hadlock 9 months ago

With their poor record of service, anyone that is still giving Comcast money deserves the poor service that they are receiving. SImply put, there are other options and your time/money would be better spent pursuing those choices than continuing to reward Comcast for their terrible attitude about customer service.

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jerry carlton 9 months ago

I had Zirkel and was pleased with their service. Dish Network is no bed of roses. It is technology. They will all have their glitches. Number one objective is to make money. They are not in business for your good or mine but for their own good. GO BRONCOS!

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