Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Cable Outage Irks Fans Problems Interrupt Jaguars Broadcast

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Cable Outage Irks Fans Problems Interrupt Jaguars Broadcast

Article excerpt

********** CORRECTION (9/21/99)

Some MediaOne viewers remained without cable TV service Sunday until nearly midnight. Because of a reporter's error, a story on Page A-1 yesterday said service had been restored by almost 4 p.m.

********** As many as 40,000 cable customers got a big taste of a second Jacksonville Jaguars football game day blackout yesterday and it had nothing to do with ticket sales.

About 11:30 a.m., MediaOne broadband cable service in the Southside, Northside, Westside and Orange Park went down when a power pole apparently was struck by lightning that hit a group of JEA switches and burned through a MediaOne fiber-optics trunk line.

Cable service to customers was down until almost 4 p.m., blinking back on just in time for the tense final two minutes of a close 22-20 win by the Jaguars over the Carolina Panthers in Charlotte, N.C.

The cable trouble that blanked out all cable channels especially angered sports fans who say MediaOne isn't delivering dependable service.

"MediaOne has not been good for a long time," Teresa Pace of Riverside said yesterday. "This is ridiculous. We are not getting the service we are paying for. We are avid sports fans, but we couldn't drive to see them. It is a good thing this did not happen last night [when the Tennessee-Florida college game was on]."

Ann Murphy, director of government relations for MediaOne, said late yesterday that 900 feet of fiber-optic cable along Philips Highway was burned.

"This was an isolated situation," she said. She said the breakup was so severe that the normal ability for the fiber-optic line to reroute itself was also cut.

"In most cases, people don't even notice a problem," she said. "It would find a redundant path. This fiber cut was of such magnitude it affected both ways."

The break affected between 30,000 and 40,000 customers who have the broadband service, Murphy said. The fiber-optic, broadband lines carry television, telephone and Internet traffic for about 55 percent of the more than 180,000 customers the company has in Jacksonville. …

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