Distance Learning Nightmare, Courtesy AT&T. Company Says Fix May Not Be Complete Until Friday.
Unclear Whether Worker Incompetence, Other Issue Causing Delay in Delray.
Whispering Pines Elementary…Sunrise Park Elementary…Eagles Landing Middle…Several Schools May Be Affected…
UPDATE 5:27 a.m. Friday, May 21: Service was restored around 11 p.m. Thursday night to many of those affected. There is still no official word from AT&T about why it took nearly 12 hours to repair a fiber optics line.
BY: ANDREW COLTON | Editor and Publisher
DELRAY BEACH, FL (BocaNewsNow.com) (Copyright © 2021 MetroDesk Media, LLC) — A major high speed internet outage, apparently caused by a construction worker on Lyons Road slicing a fiber optics line, may take 24 hours or more to fix. Some of the what we believe to be thousands of customers affected have told BocaNewsNow.com that AT&T is sending text messages, saying the estimated fix is now 11:30 a.m. Friday. The outage started at 11:10 a.m. on Thursday.
AT&T’s corporate communications department has been unusually silent during the outage, refusing to answer specific question about what caused the crisis, what is being done to help the thousands of “distance learners” who may not be able to attend school Friday, what is being done to help schools impacted, and how remote workers are supposed to work if the internet is “down.”
AT&T Spokespeople Chuck Bassett and Lesley Merritt also refused to answer questions about the true number of people affected, why AT&T is working so slowly to repair the line, and whether AT&T can be trusted locally to provide lifeline services. Many customers rely on AT&T’s fiber optics system for not just internet, but VOIP — phone service and connection to 911.
Whether this could affect AT&T’s right to sell services in Palm Beach County is now an open question. Part of a utility’s agreement with local municipalities is the ability repair or fix problems promptly. More than 24 hours for an fiber cut is not “prompt.”
Roughly 70,000 Palm Beach County School District students continue to learn remotely. At least some rely on AT&T which is a dominant internet provider in much of the county. AT&T would not comment on actions it is taking to ensure these students are capable of attending school — remotely — on Friday.
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