Great Falls business copes with internet outage

Posted at 3:44 PM, Oct 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-05 18:23:50-04

GREAT FALLS – A regional outage of Spectrum internet service continues to plague customers across parts of Montana. The outage happened on Thursday evening, and has not been resolved yet.

Spectrum spokesman Bret Picciolo provided the following information to MTN:

“Damage to a third-party carrier’s fiber-optic network is disrupting services for Spectrum customers in the area. That carrier has been engaged and is working to repair the damage and restore service as quickly as possible. The damage occurred last night but crews were unable to access the site until this morning for safety reasons. Access to the site is controlled by the power company and crews were unable to access the damage until the power company deemed the area safe to enter. Services are impacted in the Great Falls, Havre, Malta, Chinook and Harlem areas. Regarding credits: We will work individually with customers who were impacted.”

Lynn Mickloio, owner of Miss Kitty’s Coffee Cafe, learned of the internet outage Thursday night when her son was trying to do some homework.

“I knew right away that our credit card machine wouldn’t work,” Mickloio said.

Mickoio and her team at Miss Kitty’s came up with a plan.

“The good thing we can still make coffee so I feel like that is the number one thing,” Mickloio said.

Mickloio started the day with the credit card machine still not working so they could let customers know right away it would be cash only.

Though for their loyal regulars, some were able to put in an I.O.U for their daily jolt.

“They can’t use our Wi-FI so we are making them talk to each other, or they can pass notes if they want to. You know, the way we use to do things in school,” Mickloio laughed.

Miss Kitty’s is not the only business affected by the outage.

“People are going to go all over and get the same story so it is going to start to sink in a little. Hopefully they will plan for it but people do not carry cash anymore,” Mickloio said.

As there is no timeline of when the outage will be over, Mickloio is keeping a positive attitude.

“Pay cash, you can barter it out, or something, we are willing to negotiate,” Mickloio said.

Reporting by Margaret DeMarco