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Damaged line, software issue interrupts telecom service to hundreds in Santa Rosa Wednesday

A large number of Santa Rosa telecom customers lost service for hours on Wednesday amid a report that work crews damaged a pair of fiber optic lines in the area, according to the county.

A message relayed by Xfinity, a brand of Comcast, to Sonoma County said: “Looks like a crew bored into two big fiber lines at Fulton Road and Apple Tree Drive in Santa Rosa. Splicing is underway on one of them and about to commence on the other.”

The telecom provider estimated it would restore service to Xfinity customers by 9 or 10 p.m. Wednesday, according to county Communications Manager Paul Gullixson.

Xfinity customer Monique Fournier said the company had first estimated they would restore service by noon, then 6 p.m.and then 9 p.m. At about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, service had not been restored.

“I work from home,” she said. “I lost my service just before 11 this morning and I’m going to have to use my PTO (paid time off) for the rest of the day. I’m hoping it’s restored by tomorrow so I can work tomorrow, but yeah, this is not the first (time).”

Verizon spokesperson Kacie Holder said a software issue was to blame for the interruption in its service.

“Our engineers were able to identify and resolve the issue and service was restored by 3:30 p.m.,” she said.

She didn’t respond to further inquiries about how many customers were affected.

Customers complained to the telecom providers on their websites, including comments such as “South Santa Rosa with no WiFi or cable. Fourth time there's been an outage in the past 4 hours” and “Several outages since this morning. Happens almost every hour now. Working from home with this spotty WiFi …”

The county Department of Emergency Management was not notified of the outages in this case, according to Gullixson.

You can reach Staff Writer Kathleen Coates at kathleen.coates@pressdemocrat.com or 707-521-5209.

Kathleen Coates

Windsor and Cloverdale, The Press Democrat 

As someone who grew up in a small town, I enjoy covering what's happening in Windsor and Cloverdale, which are growing in their own unique ways.  I delve into issues by getting to know people and finding out what’s going on in the community. I also pay attention to animal welfare and other issues that affect Sonoma County.

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