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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cable problem cuts Milford-area Internet

MILFORD – A failed coaxial cable in the central office on South Street of Milford cut high-speed Internet access for hundreds of customers throughout the Milford area.

FairPoint spokesman Jill Wurm said the problem was expected to be fixed by Monday evening.

The blackout involves DSL service, which is broadband over copper telephone lines, and affected roughly 275 customers in the Milford region.

Wurm said it was first reported Sunday. For at least one person, however, the problem began earlier.

Helen Trembly, of Kemp Drive in Brookline, said she lost DSL service around 7:30 p.m. Saturday, and that during several calls to FairPoint customer service heard different stories about when the issue began and when it would be fixed.

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” Tremblay said when told that FairPoint expected a repair Monday.

The problem did not affect telephone service, since voice calls go through different switching systems than data signals like those used in DSL.

DSL is key to FairPoint’s future. When the company purchased Verizon’s landlines in New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine last year, one of its big selling points was the promise to upgrade existing DSL to a newer, faster version.

The company has finished building a fiber-optic “backbone” to make this possible, and says it will be rolling out updated DSL services to certain areas before the end of the year.

– DAVID BROOKS