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Frontier customers impacted by internet disruptions

Company representative investigating

-Messenger photo by Chad Thompson
A Frontier Communications router powers on Wednesday evening. Multiple Fort Dodge area customers have experienced interruptions in their Frontier internet service in recent days.

Multiple customers in the Fort Dodge area have experienced frequent disruptions in their Frontier Communications internet service in recent days.

And the outages have customers wondering when those issues will be resolved and what has caused them.

An exact date for when the disruptions began occurring is not clear. Some customers like Ann Feser, of Fort Dodge, report having issues beginning on Sept. 30.

Susan M. Olson, of Fort Dodge, said the outages have persisted through Wednesday.

“Just so upsetting,” Olson said. “Keeps dropping the signal, buffering, slow download and uploading. I have called many times. Nothing.”

Webster County Supervisor Niki Conrad, of Fort Dodge, has also experienced consistent interruptions with her service.

Conrad said she was told by a representative there would be no adjustments on her bill because the disruption in service didn’t last for 24 hours.

A phone call placed by The Messenger to Frontier’s technical service department earlier this week was answered by a machine. A voice on the other end of the phone said Frontier was aware of the outage and that a text message alert would be sent when the internet was restored.

That message has not yet been received.

An email sent to Frontier media representatives on Oct. 5 was not immediately returned.

A second email sent to company officials on Wednesday prompted a phone call from Bob Elek, the company’s director of public relations for its southeast region of the U.S.

Elek began an investigation into the disruptions by contacting affected customers in Fort Dodge Wednesday.

He said, “Any reports of troubles will be run down for the customer.”

Elek said through email that a network transport issue could be the problem. He said he would contact The Messenger when he had definitive answers.

More than 30 customers contacted The Messenger on Wednesday with complaints about their internet service.

Meanwhile, the city of Fort Dodge is considering adding a separate broadband utility as a potential way to improve service in the community. Voters will have their say on the matter when they see a referendum question asking them if the Fort Dodge city government should be authorized to establish a telecommunications utility.

That referendum is set for Nov. 5.

An approved referendum provides the City Council with the ability to advance with the construction or operation of a municipal telecommunications utility. It does not establish a timeline for that work to be done.

And even if the voters say yes to the concept during the election, establishing a municipal utility may not be a guarantee. Voters in 70 Iowa communities have approved such a referendum, but so far less than 30 of them have established a utility.

Data provided by SmartSource Consulting, of Grimes, indicated in August that 66.5 percent of survey respondents in Fort Dodge indicated that they were likely to switch to a new internet service provider.

The city has three options for improving broadband service.

Working in partnership with an existing provider is one of those options. Recruiting a new provider is a second option and establishing a municipal utility is the third option.