CenturyLink officials speak on outages, service delays
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- CenturyLink customers are reporting more Internet outages and service frustrations.
"It's a joke around here, I'll be honest with you," said Judith Brochu-Blake, who lives in Esmont. "It is totally unacceptable in this day and time, to be without Internet or telephone service for basically three and a half weeks.
Brochu-Blake depends on CenturyLink broadband, yet she had to go to the Yancey Community Center to get WiFi on Wednesday to watch a public meeting regarding service issues.
The meeting she was trying to access was a work session between the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors and Lumen, the company that owns CenturyLink.
Representatives from Albemarle's Broadband Accessibility and Affordability Office reported more than 100 CenturyLink complaints since Monday.
"Outages dominate the concerns, followed by new and ongoing reliability issues," said Jason Inofuentes, the broadband program manager.
Trish Stipanovich, representing Lumen, tied the major issues to weather events throughout 2021.
"We had extensive challenges with the damage that occurred with the significant amount of tree damage," she said.
Other county supervisors said that problems have persisted for years, despite weather.
"You're giving all the answers that the company wants to give but you're not giving the answers that the people want to hear," Supervisor Bea LaPisto-Kirtley said.
According to a briefing from the BAAO, there's a plan in Virginia that will offer universal access to the Internet within the county over several months but most rural residents will be relying on CenturyLink for their needs in the meantime.
The BAAO is playing with different options to get Lumen to fix the issues, even suggesting that the county consider filing informal complaints with the Federal Communications Commission or the Virginia State Corporation Commission.