City Addresses Comcast Outage in Dexter

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Comcast trucks are a regular sight in Dexter as the communications company continues to patch together its faulty service that has frustrated residents for months. Photo by Lonnie Huhman.

By Doug Marrin, STN Reporter

The ongoing and frustrating Comcast internet outage in Dexter was brought up at the June 14, 2021 Dexter City Council meeting.

During the public participation portion of the meeting, Dexter resident Jack Huren expressed his frustration over the continuing problem of having no reliable internet.

“I just wanted to take an opportunity just for a brief moment to share the frustrations I know myself and my neighbors are having with the lack of stability we're getting out of Comcast,” Mr. Huren told the Council. “And unfortunately, AT&T is not really an option. The speeds that they offer are pretty much nonexistent in this area. So it feels like Comcast has a monopoly.”

Mr. Huren works out of his home and reported that over the past 60 days, he has experienced a loss of internet for half that time, crippling his ability to work.

Mayor Keough immediately responded, saying he had contacted Comcast over the weekend regarding the most recent service outages. Comcast explained to the Mayor that the company was troubleshooting one of the nodes that fed the City's internet. Wikipedia defines an internet node as “a redistribution point or a communication endpoint.” The Mayor reported that Comcast had also replaced an amplifier.

The Mayor acknowledged his frustration in dealing with the communications company. “They’re very hard to pin down,” he said. “They respond if I call them, and they’re very polite. But I’m never quite sure that I understand what the actual problem is that they’re fixing.”

During her report, Community Development Manager Michelle Aniol shared her efforts to address the problem. Ms. Aniol has created a map of the outages. “It’s a decent-sized area,” she said. “I think it might be helpful to give them a visual.”

Ms. Aniol is also in contact with AT&T to determine if the company can provide faster service than they currently do for the City.

The blue circles show the number of locations in that area that reported an internet outage to the City office. Image courtesy of the City of Dexter.

During his report, Mayor Keough returned to the internet problem the City was experiencing.

“I know this is frustrating for residents, and I know that they’d like to have options,” said the Mayor. “We have to find a way to encourage AT&T to make the investment, and that’s the hard part. We can’t force anybody to invest in the same community as (their competitor).”

In an email sent out Monday afternoon, the City stated, “The City of Dexter has been notified of intermittent phone and internet outages for Comcast customers. The City has communicated these outages to Comcast, and a Comcast Network Operations team is working on resolving the issue. There may be some minor service interruptions during the day on Monday, June 14th and Tuesday, June 15th as they investigate and attempt to correct any problems.”

For now, no permanent solutions are in sight, but the conversation forward is gaining momentum.

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