Comcast officials have released few details about what caused a massive outage throughout the Charleston area on Wednesday, but a spokeswoman for the company said officials are confident that the problem has been resolved.
Service was widely restored about 9:20 p.m. last night. Any customers who are still having issues today should first turn their devices on and off, then call 1-800-COMCAST if the problem continues, spokeswoman Shannon Dulin said.
The outage was the chief topic of complaint on Lowcountry social media Wednesday.
“May 29, 2013: the day Charleston disappeared off the grid,” read one lament on Twitter.
Customers started complaining around 1 p.m. that they had no cable, no television, no Internet, and no telephone if that was part of the Comcast package. Outages were reported from Charleston to Mount Pleasant to Goose Creek to Walterboro.
It wasn’t just a matter of television or Internet withdrawal. It was lost revenue for many businesses.
“Please excuse our phone line today,” O-Ku, a sushi restaurant on King Street, posted on its Facebook page. “Comcast is out in all of downtown Charleston. Sorry for the inconvenience, we should be back up and running shortly.”
Fleet Landing, a waterfront restaurant near the S.C. Aquarium, also lost its phone service.
“Comcast is having issues in the area ... again!” the restaurant posted on its Facebook page. “So — no phones.”
Melanie Richards, a designer, speculated on the cost of the outage.
“So @comcast is down in D-town Charleston and West Ashley, costing our neighborhoods $1000s in a matter of hours,” she said in a tweet.
Some offices were unable to function at all.
“Comcast goes out all over Charleston & our 4 offices are left twiddling thumbs,” Bex of Good Girls Gone Geek said in a Twitter post.
The outage also affected those who work at home.
“Comcast is still out in Mt P,” attorney John McElwaine said in a tweet about 8 p.m. “I guess I won’t work from home tonight.”
The outage was caused by a cut fiber cable that comes into Charleston, according to a company spokeswoman.
“Due to a fiber cable cut at the facilities of one of Comcast’s service providers outside Charleston, customers are currently experiencing an outage,” Dulin said in a statement. “We are actively working to resolve the issue as quickly as possible and hope to have service restored sometime later this evening.”
Dulin didn’t know how the cut happened, who or where exactly in the region the service provider is, or any more details about the extent of the outage.
“What I’ve provided in the statement is all I know,” she said.
The company posted a note on its website that the problem should be resolved by 5 p.m. The statement was later updated to say the problem should be fixed by 10 p.m.
Customers found the uncertainty of it all particularly irritating.
“Comcast outage = real pain!” a Twitter post read. “Would be nice if we had an idea when service would (be) back.”
Brendan Kearney contributed to this story. Reach him at 937-5906.
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