More than two weeks after a Kansas City snowstorm, Google Fiber still hasn’t restored Internet service to all customers. There were also dozens of Google Sea customers without home Internet service, a KCUR article yesterday’s publication said. The suspension has continued since the storm on January 11 and 12.
Google told Ars on Friday afternoon that the storm affected “thousands” of its customers in the Kansas City area and that it has not yet completed a restoration of service to all of them. “While we can’t share exact numbers, at its peak, we have thousands of open tickets and it’s down to double digits,” a Google spokesperson said. “Getting our KC customers back online has been our top priority since the hurricane hit. We are adding both teams and resources to help with this in the city.”
Google said the Kansas City storm was “one of the most significant weather events” to hit any Google Fiber city. “We have learned a lot from our response and will incorporate them into every aspect of our planning for events like this in the future,” the company said.
Update: We asked Google for an update this morning. Shortly after this article was published, Google told us that “service has been restored in all affected areas” but that there are still some customers who are offline. “We’re still working to resolve a small handful of individual customer issues and get them back online as soon as possible,” a Google spokesperson said.
Customers are disappointed by Google Fiber’s response
The storm on January 11 and 12 dropped five to eight inches of snow on most parts of Kansas City, with some areas receiving more than 12 inches. according to National Weather Service.
The KCUR article details the situation of Julie Gronquist-Blodgett, her husband, and four young children.
“Gronquist-Blodgett said she and her husband have called Google Fiber several times and have not been able to get a clear answer as to why their outage has stopped, even as neighbors have repaired their service,” KCUR wrote
To get work done at home, Gronquist-Blodgett and her husband have been using heavy-duty smartphones. As a result, they “have racked up $100 in combined costs, which is more than their monthly bill for Google Fiber,” the KCUR article said.
Although the storm was reported outages for other providersGoogle Fiber seems to have taken longer than other ISPs to restore service.
“Our network is full of fiberglass cables, which require special training to handle and repair. And splitting fiber cables in freezing temperatures takes longer than, say, repairing traditional copper cable lines. ,” a Google Fiber spokesperson told KCUR.
Google told Ars today that Gronquist-Blodgett’s job has been reinstated. “The team worked hard all weekend to continue to restore service to remaining customers, including those mentioned in the KCUR article,” a Google spokesperson said.
“I call every day. What’s going on?”
Google Fiber’s inability to restore service quickly suggests the company isn’t preparing for hurricanes well, telecom analyst Jeff Kagan told KCUR. “These kinds of things happen to facilities. This is not an earthquake, it’s just snow,” he said.
Kansas City was the first city to receive Google Fiber service, in 2012.
A customer complaint was repeated on Friday Kansas City Star article. “I call every day. What’s going on?” Kansas City’s Kim Riley told the newspaper after going 11 days without work. “You’re all Google, the world’s technology leaders. This makes no sense.”