BY ROBERT MORALES
While the strong thunderstorm on Wednesday afternoon didnâ€™t knock out the Advocateâ€™s connection, if it had, it would have spelled disaster on deadline day. One of the two modems in the office was apparently sizzled by a power surge.
Our office didnâ€™t have internet access Friday, Saturday and Sunday, which are still working days for us. We did have internet connectivity on Monday on the one working modem.
Like most commercial internet providers, Windstream insisted that we sign a two-year contract, which we did. Thankfully, that contract expires in September.
We spoke with other business owners and others who lost their home internet connection last Thursday. One business, the owner of a restaurant, told us he was unable to process any credit card or debit transactions over the weekend because of the outage. One of the taxing entities we spoke with on Monday was able to get its service back on Monday, but the service was unstable.
The Advocate attempted to reach a corporate communications specialist to comment about the outage, but neither of the two media relations persons listed on Windstreamâ€™s website was available on the office business phone number or the cell phone number. Windstream Communications is based in Little Rock, Ark.
We have previously commented on Windstreamâ€™s ineptitude to handle reliable DSL service for its customers. This time, weâ€™re simply going to be blunt: Itâ€™s time to dump Windstream as your internet provider. The company has shown total disdain and inability to service its customers. Whatâ€™s worse is that the company doesnâ€™t feel the need to issue any kind of an alert or a news release to help us at least make some sense of whatâ€™s going on during a lengthy outage.
We must give credit to a customer service representative we spoke with almost a year ago. More than likely, that representative should have never revealed what she told us, but it speaks volumes about the company. She said that the companyâ€™s internet infrastructure was seriously flawed and behind schedule, especially for the smaller rural areas, such as Van Horn. She readily admitted that it would be years before the company could catch up to meet the demand.
However, she also said that the company was more interested in appeasing the areas that it serves in the Permian Basin with its ongoing oil boom than the smaller towns further down the line.
Whatâ€™s the solution? Tell Windstream to go fly a kite, and contact one of the two other companies that offer high-speed internet service. Tel-Star Communications, a satellite internet provider, has been offering internet services in town for several years. You can contact local representative Larry Simpson at Office Tech for more information. Also, Delcom Communications has recently added Van Horn as a service area for high-speed internet service. Both advertisements appear in the Advocate.