June 6, 2011
Multiple fiber optic breaks left Century Link customers in Charlottesville and throughout the Commonwealth without internet service for much of the day Monday.
Service was restored to all customers by 3:30pm after being out for more than seven hours. Given how connected Charlottesville is and how many businesses rely on the internet the outage was nearly as debilitating as a power outage.
“People rely on being able to use credit cards,” said Bodo's manager Amanda Pollock of customers trying to buy bagels at her Preston Avenue store. “They didn't have cash and unfortunately we had to go to a cash-only service.”
Simone Alley, a representative with the internet, television and phone service provider, told CBS19 the outage started around 8:30am due to two separate fiber cuts in the network, one outside Winchester and the other in the Goldsboro area in North Carolina. The cuts also knocked out long distance calling services.
“First of all our credit card processing goes through the internet. Plus, we couldn't do something as simple as calling our office in Madison,” said Mike Snyder, general manage of Game Place next to Staples on Ridge-McIntire Road.
The lack of an internet connection slowed down some transactions, but local business owners weathered the outage by temporarily sliding back to old ways.
“We had the old-school credit card swiping machine and the forms so we used that,” Snyder joked.