Steamboat City Council member to Comcast: ‘We’d like you to do better’
January 21, 2014
The crippling Comcast outage that left 13,000 customers here without Internet, phone and cable service for several hours last week still is fresh in the minds of some Steamboat Springs City Council members.
And they want the cable company to know they don't want it to happen again.
At the end of Tuesday's council meeting, council member Scott Ford said he'd like city staff to inform Comcast of this city's dissatisfaction with such a long outage.
"I think we can definitely say, 'Guys, we'd like you to do better,'" Ford said. "We can certainly say, 'We're not a bunch of happy campers up here.'"
The outage was blamed on a barn fire in Bailey, a community more than three hours away from Steamboat.
The services here went down in the morning after a fiber optic line burned above the barn.
"That's not good for us," Ford said.
Steamboat residents who needed to do business and finish work during the day flocked to Bud Werner Memorial Library to get reconnected.
While Ford wanted city staff to take some form of action with Comcast, council member Sonja Macys questioned the effectiveness of just writing Comcast "a nasty letter" about the service disruption.
She said the city instead should take a proactive approach to the issue, possibly looking into whether progress can be made to add some redundancies to Comcast's network here.
Council member Walter Magill said the Comcast outage wasn't so much different than if power to the city went out for half a day.
"There were a lot of businesses that were down. We're not very well accommodated," he said.
City Manager Deb Hinsvark said she would look into Comcast's franchise agreement here and see whether the city has any recourse after the outage.
Friday's major service interruption follows a similar one Steamboat experienced in April.
In that outage, about 5,000 customers had severely limited Internet connectivity.
Service was out starting on a Monday evening, and it wasn't restored until about 7 a.m. the next day.
A Comcast spokeswoman said at the time that the outage was the result of a technical issue.