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Charter Spectrum internet outage affects virtual learning in parts of Northern SLO County

Posted at 6:32 PM, Aug 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-20 00:10:05-04

Fires, smoky skies, and now another challenge for residents in Northern San Luis Obispo County Wednesday -- internet outages.

Charter Spectrum says service was restored earlier in the afternoon, but many had impacts to work-at-home and accessing classes online in the morning and afternoon.

“We haven’t been able to watch TV but at the same time we’re not able to go online, we’re not able to watch YouTube, do any sort of research, check emails," said Atascadero resident Christina Cummings. "Thankfully we have our cell phones that have our data, but that’s the only thing that we really have."

Charter Spectrum was unable to say how many customers were impacted by Wednesday's outage, but areas from Paso Robles south to Orcutt reported connectivity issues.

“It was today, yesterday, and the day before. It’s kind of hit and miss, it’s really spotty," said Atascadero resident Justina Van Eck.

“Spectrum services were interrupted earlier today by a network issue that our engineers worked to resolve as quickly as possible. We apologize to any customers who may have been affected," Charter spokesperson Bret Picciolo said in a statement.

Several Atascadero High School students say they were unable to connect to their morning classes Wednesday, after only one week back in school.

“My son just came out of his afternoon class that just started and said they’re not having it," Van Eck said.

Atascadero High School's principal says students who were not able to connect to classes in the morning had the option to attend the afternoon class session.

Van Eck's daughter, who is middle school, says already, school outside the classroom has not been easy.

“It’s hard to hear them and stuff and sometimes everyone will just freeze and cut out and we’ll miss some directions," Savanah said.

On Wednesday, many Atascadero residents resorted to hot spot technology in order to access the internet.

“I mean there’s just so much going on in the world with COVID and with fires, it’s just another thing added to our world," Cummings said.

Charter Spectrum said service was restored in the afternoon and anyone still having connectivity issues should contact the company directly.