SEVIERVILLE — Spectrum services were still out in parts of Sevier County Friday, as an outage that started Thursday spilled over into a second day.
The outage affected internet, cable, and phone services for the company, which is owned by Charter Communications.
It started when a construction crew cut into hundreds of fiber-optic lines Thursday morning, but repairs took longer than expected when Charter personnel found more damaged lines as they worked, spokesman Jonathan Dunagin said.
“Upon completing our repair work overnight, we discovered additional damage to our fiber at another location,” he said. “Additional crews are making repairs at this second damage site and we are working to restore service as quickly as possible.
“We appreciate our customers’ continued patience as we make the necessary repairs.”
They were gradually restoring service Friday, with customers in some areas reporting service had been restored Friday afternoon while some where still waiting on service to resume.
It was a disruption for all customers of the company, and it had many business owners worried they were losing sales on the busy sales tax holiday weekend.
Many businesses depend on their internet service to complete credit card transactions. The outage left some of them going to cash-only business, while some were taking invoices.
Pigeon Forge Mayor David Wear, who also serves as vice president of operations at The Island, said he wondered how much the outage had cost the city.
“It would be interesting to find out how much sales we lost as a community because of the connectivity issues,” he said.
“One day of sales with the crowds we’ve had is a lot of money.”
Some businesses at The Island had backups systems but many were forced to ask customers for cash for any transactions.
“I would say the ATMs around Sevierville and Pigeon Forge were pretty dry by this morning, because that’s what we were doing was directing customers to ATMs,” Wear said.
Some businesses at The Island had Spectrum services restored Friday afternoon, but many were still waiting, he said, and it had them looking into ways to back up their connectivity so their work wouldn’t be disrupted the next time there’s a prolonged outage.
“We need to be able to run business as usual with an offline mode or another connection point,” he said.
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