Katie Sims / Sun Staff Photographer

Collegetown Bagels was one of the many Collegetown businesses impacted by Spectrum's Internet outage on Saturday.

February 8, 2020

After Four Hours, Spectrum Restores WiFi and Internet Services

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This post has been updated. 

Spectrum, a telecommunications company, experienced a WiFi outage after Friday’s snowstorm in Ithaca, leaving many without Internet for approximately four hours. Spectrum restored services as of 5 p.m. on Saturday.

AT&T also experienced a wireless outage in the area. As of 6:48 p.m. on Saturday, the company restored its wireless services, according to AT&T spokesperson Brandy Bell-Truskey.

The Spectrum power outage spanned from upstate New York to New Hampshire and Maine, according to the company’s Twitter.

Lara Pritchard, a Spectrum spokesperson, wrote in an email to The Sun that the snowstorm damaged multiple fibers in the company’s network Friday afternoon. Spectrum’s crew was working to assess the damage.

“It’s been difficult gaining access to the area for repairs, until power and storm related damage have been cleared,” Pritchard wrote.

A snowstorm hit Ithaca with approximately six inches of snow on Friday. Cornell canceled classes midday when the storm was already in full force. The storm’s severity prompted Ithaca College and Ithaca High School to announce they were canceling classes the night before on Thursday.

The Tompkins Consolidated Area Transit also suspended its services for the duration of the storm.

The internet outage impacted many businesses in Collegetown, which rely on Spectrum WiFi for daily business operations.

Most businesses noticed the WiFi outage at around noon. According to multiple Collegetown business owners, Spectrum had not given them a restoration timeline.

“We’ve talked to them, and they said they’re working on it,” said Gregar Brous, owner of Collegetown Bagels.

Since the power outage, Spectrum has been inundated with phone calls. When called, a voice-automated message said that the company was no longer accepting additional calls.

Todd Nau, Rulloff’s general manager, said that he tried contacting Spectrum, but to no avail.

“You try to talk to a person, and they tell you, ‘Your Spectrum representative has no further information,’” Nau said.

At CTB, the outage impacted online orders. According to Brous, CTB employees have been using phones connected to Verizon to keep track of orders.

“Now, we’re able to function, we struggled in the beginning with our online orders because they all come in through the Internet, but what we’re doing is searching them on Verizon ourselves, and then writing them down manually,” Brous told The Sun.

At other establishments, the outage prevented them from charging credit cards. Jenny Zhang, Mango Mango manager, told The Sun that multiple customers left the dessert store because of this.

“A lot of people left because they feel uncomfortable giving us their card number, and they don’t have any cash,” Zhang said. “It’s uncomfortable for them to leave their personal information with us.”

While AT&T’s Internet services were working in Ithaca, the wireless outage impacted mobile services this afternoon. Verizon and T-Mobile appeared to have no reported outages in Ithaca.

Cornell’s campus was not impacted by the Internet outage. The University primarily relies on eduroam — a wireless service that is used by higher education institutions — for its Internet.