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Tuesday, December 07, 2021

Residents lose Internet, phone service Wednesday

Gainesville had its plug pulled Wednesday afternoon.

Verizon Wireless and Gainesville Regional Utilities’ GRUCom reported customer complaints that their services had fizzled Wednesday afternoon.

Cellphones with Verizon Wireless plans were not working, and businesses and homes using GRUCom Internet were disconnected as well.

Customers’ Internet was restored as of about 6:45 p.m., said GRU spokeswoman Kathy Kopacz. She said GRU wasn’t able to determine how many connections were affected, but the service will have more information later.

She also said GRU hoped to determine what caused a fiber optic connection point near the city of Archer to fail, disrupting Gainesville connections. Kopacz said the point is part of a third-party facility some providers use.

“It’s kind of like a big pipeline,” she said.

Verizon Wireless spokesman Chuck Hamby echoed this. The cellphone service provider depends on a landline fiber that feeds its wireless network.

“We’re really kind of at the mercy of that landline connection,” he said.

UPDATE: GRU marketing and communications specialist Kendall Litton Jensen said the issue was caused by failure at an EarthLink equipment hub in Archer.

She said rumors that a GRU cable was cut are unfounded and said GRU has backup measure in the event of a cut fiber.

"That definitely was not the case," she said.

Contact Clare Lennon at clennon@alligator.org.

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