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Frontier: Outage or Outrage?

frontierIf you live in downtown Redmond, this week you’re all-too-familiar with “closed” or “cash only signs.”

Saturday, September 20th, was the first day of what has been a massive Internet, Phone, and TV outage.  How did this happen?  Frontier Communications has reported the following initial cause: IMCO Construction ripped up 1000’s of feet of fiber and copper cable near the street at Bear Creek Parkway and Redmond Way.

Now, on day 7 of this outage, many are still experiencing outages.

My own family household experienced a mere 2-day outage, which meant having to pay cash for our traditional weekend Zaw pizza and relocating to watch the Husky and Seahawks game last weekend.  Annoying at most, but nowhere near the level of frustration others in downtown Redmond are facing.  Redmond businesses are facing an impact on an entirely different scale.  Businesses have lost phone services, directly affecting their computer and credit card access.  Because of this, many businesses have closed or scaled down their work hours.  On top of that, some businesses continue to pay employees despite closures.  Which boils down to businesses losing money.

This outage has had a negative impact at thinkspace, as well.  As a company that provides professional phone answering services, Peter Chee (CEO of thinkspace) posted earlier:

“My company has 200 DID’s (phone numbers) and we are answering phones for many small businesses and startups. It’s impacting our ability to take phone calls from prospective customers and provide customer support for our existing customers. It’s very disturbing that Frontier’s engineering team is unable to temporarily move us off a PRI (copper) onto fiber (FIOS).”

Chee and Sami Dyer (Customer Experience Manager) have been providing the community at thinkspace with multiple daily updates on their outage.  Unlike Frontier Communications.  Many customers have tweeted, posted, and commented how the outage is causing an outrage because of Frontier Communications’ unnecessary lack of communication.

On day 5 of the outage, Chee and Dyer both attended a community meeting run by Frontier at the Redmond Community Center.  During the meeting, Chee challenged Frontier by asking the following question on behalf of small business in Redmond: “What will be done to take care of businesses that have lost money?” To which the Frontier representative replied: “I don’t understand what you all mean by losing business but I don’t have an answer for you.”  What an OUTRAGEous response.

The last word from Frontier – which like local business revenue has been severely limited – was that they expect another 72 hours until all is repaired.  Which would tally 10 days for this outage.

One Facebook user brings up an interesting perspective and comments: “The City as a whole has bitten off way more than they could handle by allowing all the construction to go this way. It’s ridiculous. Too many apartment boxes at once and too many streets torn up. And who monitored the construction companies with the utilities locates? Grade F goes everywhere on this goat rodeo.”

What are your thoughts on this “goat rodeo?”  Is this an outage or an outrage?  How have you been affected?

 

 

 

Status Update from Massive Frontier FIOS Outage: Day 5

Day 5: Earlier Frontier held a community meeting at the Redmond Community Center for residents and businesses impacted by the massive Internet, Phone, and TV outage that has been going on since Saturday, September 20.

Frontier made it clear that IMCO Construction was the company that ripped up 1000’s of feet of fiber and copper cable in the street at Bear Creek Parkway and Redmond Way. Frontier representatives said that while 99% of customers are back up except for copper wire customers.

I stood up and asked a question on behalf of small businesses in Redmond that have been impacted — what will be done to take care of businesses that have lost money? I explained to the audience that we have people dropping by my company who are not even sure we are open. It’s impacting our businesses. Banner Bank and Chase Bank on our street have been closed for days. Businesses are paying their employees who don’t have as much work to do. The representative from Frontier had a response of:
“I don’t understand what you all mean by losing business but I don’t have an answer for you.”
Here’s the schedule for when they plan to fix things:
  • Education Hill – Next 48 hours
  • West of Avondale Rd – Next 72 hours
  • NE 83rd & 161st Ave NE – Next 72 hours
  • 168th Ave NE (Downtown apartments) – Next 96 hours
  • Businesses in Redmond Town Center may not get service until the first of October.

While I’m glad that they held this meeting at the Redmond Community Center, it seems like they should focus on over communicating with residents and businesses until this is all fixed.

Who does Google think you are?

jamie-and-kate-at-googleYesterday, Google and the Fremont Chamber of Commerce hosted an educational lunch on the ins and outs of Google’s free, online analytic tools.  While at the event, I met representatives from other local businesses; watched thinkspace Community Manager and recycling enthusiast Jamie fawn over Google’s sophisticated, color-coded recycling bins; and posed for a photo op with a pillow shaped like one of the little green Android robots.  Thanks to a representative from the Google Analytics team, I also learned how this tool can help businesses better understand their website’s traffic, and how to use that information to implement better marketing strategies.

One of the reports that Google Analytics generates is the “Audience Report,” which helps you get to know your website’s visitors.  Google Analytics has the capability to break these statistics down by age, gender, interests, location, etc.  Where does Google get this information?  By analyzing the websites you visit, Google has glimpsed into your cyber soul.  They have you figured outOr at least they think they do.

Want to know who Google thinks you are?  Sign into your Google account and check it out.  Me?  According to Google, I’m a 25-34 year old, English-speaking female, with apparent interests in language resources, t-shirts and vans & minivans.  So let us know: Who does Google think you are?  Are they right?

Fall Kickoff: Five Local Fall Favorites

Fall: hands-down my all-time favorite season.

What’s so great about fall in Seattle?

Here is my personal list of five local fall favorites to kickoff your season.

running5)  Running.  Is there anything better than running in the crisp fall air with leaves crunching beneath your feet?  A few events I look forward to in the fall: The Seattle Marathon,   The Poultry Predictor Race trail run in Redmond, and the Leavenworth Oktoberfest Marathon/Half-Marathon.

 

pump4) Craven’s Corn Maze.  The Craven Farm is a must-visit fall activity.  They have great pumpkins, and their Corn Maze (especially the night time maze) has been a staple in my fall traditions for ten years and counting.
 
 
okt3)  Oktoberfest.  Whether it’s making the well-worth-it drive up to the magical Bavarian town of Leavenworth, cashing in tokens at the Fremont Oktoberfest, or drinking a seasonal brew…I love celebrating Oktoberfest.

 
cupcake2)  The Pumpkin Maple Cupcake at Cupcake Royale.  I almost planned my wedding around this limited-edition seasonal favorite.  The pumpkin puree is not from a can – it’s fresh and special ordered months in advance from Stahlbush Island Farms in Oregon.  AND topped with maple frosting? Yum!  When this cupcake is available, I start to put on my “winter weight.”  Yes, it’s that good.

seahawks1) Football!  Winter, spring, summer, FOOTBALL.  It’s football season!  The most integral part of my fall is football.  Tailgating and attending games at Husky Stadium, and cheering on the Hawks on Sundays.  What else do people in Seattle do on the weekends?  #GoDawgs #GoHawks

 

What’s on your top five list?