MARYVILLE, Mo. — United Fiber said it hopes an equipment replacement scheduled for overnight Wednesday will fix the intermittent phone and internet outages experienced by some customers over the past few weeks.
Darren Farnan, chief development officer at United Fiber’s parent company United Electric Cooperative, told The Forum over the phone Wednesday that the company believes the issue has been narrowed down to a power supply unit in the network’s infrastructure system.
“It’s the same issue that’s kind of been re-presenting itself, and so, we are going to do a maintenance window (Wednesday) to replace the main piece of equipment,” Farnan said. That window will come somewhere around the 2-3 a.m. hour.
He said hopefully that solves the issue that has left thousands of residents, businesses and government agencies in the area without phone or internet service for parts of days dating back to two weeks ago.
“At this point, I don’t want to speculate and say that there will be no more outages, because until we replace it, it would be irresponsible, honestly, to say that,” Farnan said. “But we are taking this seriously.”
Tuesday, crews worked through the night after the problem reoccured unexpectedly, eventually identifying the issue.
Farnan said not all of United Fiber’s 11,000 customers were affected, and it was difficult to pinpoint exactly who had been affected and who hadn’t. But customers in the northern part of the service region appear to have been affected more heavily.
He also said that the company will likely consider some sort of credit or refund for affected customers once technicians are confident the problem has been solved for good.
“We’ll be discussing that internally, that’ll be a decision that we’ll have to talk to our management team and folks will have to get that figured out,” Farnan said. “Obviously we’ve done some credits in the past for different issues, but again, it’s premature because at this point, we have to see if this resolves the problem tonight. We want to make sure the problems are resolved before we make decisions on that. But it’s definitely something we’ll be addressing.”
Residential and business customers have been receiving emailed updates from United Fiber about the status of maintenance and outages, and the latest updates can be found on United Fiber’s Facebook page.