Life won't seem normal for many in the Tampa Bay region until Wi-Fi and cable television are back on at home. Unfortunately, services from Spectrum and Frontier are often slower to return, even after power is restored.
Having electricity in your home, whether from the wall outlet or a gas-powered generator, does not mean you will have cable or Internet, said Joe Durkin, director of communications for Charter Communications, Spectrum's parent company.
While restoring electrical power will more than likely restore Spectrum services, in some cases, a power outage miles away might prevent a distribution hub from delivering Internet and cable, Durkin said.
"Some customers will say, 'Well, I have a generator going,' " Durkin said. "A generator will keep your refrigerator going, but it's not going to bring Spectrum services to you. If a Spectrum facility doesn't have power, it will not be able to provide service."
Durkin acknowledged that costumer service hold times are significantly longer than usual.
"We are asking people to be patient," Durkin said. "Our No. 1 priority right now is to get services back as quickly as possible."
As for customers wanting a credit on their bill for days spent without service, Durkin said the company "will address that down the road. Right now we are fixed on getting service back on."
There appears to be no significant damage to Frontier's network, said Bob Elek, a spokesman for Frontier Communications.
"Most of the significant problems we are seeing is caused by the loss of electrical power," Elek said. "In many cases, we are just waiting for it to come back on."
Elek said that customers who get Internet and phone services via copper cable might not have lost services. Those who get services through fiber optic cables will likely see services restored once power is restored.
Customers who want pro-rated services for days spent without Internet or cable should call the company, he said.
"That is decided on a case-by-case basis," Elek said. "If they call us, we will work it out with them."
Contact Jonathan Capriel at firstname.lastname@example.org.