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Internet provider is subject of state probe

POSTED: April 24, 2013 1:17 a.m.

The Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection has launched an investigation into Windstream for possible consumer violations by the Internet provider.

The investigation is in response to consumer complaints that Windstream is advertising broadband capabilities the company may not be able to deliver at certain usage times.

That announcement was followed by a hardware failure at Windstream’s central office in Dahlonega, reportedly to blame for last week’s widespread Internet outage in Dawson County. The malfunction occurred about 1 a.m. Thursday and lasted up to 40 hours for some customers.

“The issue was a hardware failure, a switch in Dahlonega which serves Dawsonville failed,” said Scott Morris, senior consultant and corporate communications with the Arkansas-based Internet, cable and phone provider.

“By 4 p.m. Friday, everybody in Dawson County was back in service.”

Though Morris said the two issues are unrelated, the outage was a topic of conversation Friday night when Gov. Nathan Deal spoke at the 9th Congressional District Republican banquet in Dawsonville.

According to Deal, Windstream’s connectivity issues in rural areas have crept into conversations among his family.

“My youngest daughter and her husband live in Habersham County on our property over there and they’re served by Windstream, too,” Deal said. “So I hear it on a personal level, because they’ve been out of service as well and they are very dependent on that for what they do. It is a problem.”

But Deal said he is not sure to what extent the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection can impact the matter.

“It may involve the Public Service Commission having to become involved as well,” he said. “I haven’t really walked through the process. I do know that there is a preliminary investigation.”

Attempts to reach officials with the consumer protection office were unsuccessful.


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