Western Tidewater deserves better

Published 12:00 pm Friday, September 1, 2017

For years, local residents have grumbled about poor cell phone and internet service. On Wednesday, when many, if not all, of Charter/Spectrum Communications’ customers lost internet and telephone service for an entire day that frustration reached a boiling point.

Something finally needs to be done about Western Tidewater’s pathetic communications infrastructure.

In 2017, the fact that there are places where you can’t make or receive a cell phone call is preposterous. Wednesday’s outage aside, the frequency with which customers regularly experience a loss of internet or land line service is ridiculous. Local service providers, such as Verizon and Charter/Spectrum, must to be taken to task.

The loss of such services is not merely an inconvenience. When internet and phone services go down, it puts companies out of business. Merchants can’t process credit cards. E-commerce comes to a screeching halt. Telephone orders can’t be placed.

It also puts lives at risk. Spotty cell phone service can cost precious minutes when a call to police, fire or medical personnel can’t be made. A lack of reliable service can literally be the difference between life and death.

We foot the bill for these services, but frequently don’t receive what we are supposedly paying for. It’s time for elected officials and business leaders to stand up and demand that these service providers deliver on their promises.