Phone issues need to be dealt with — ASAP
Peoples Bank Theatre sent out a mass email Tuesday to let people know they weren’t able to receive most phone calls. Included was an image of a little boy holding a can with a string attached to his ear.
Unfortunately, it pretty accurately depicts what much of the Mid-Ohio Valley has been reduced to over the last couple of weeks.
Due to what’s been described as some sort of incompatibility issue between Suddenlink and AT&T–two long-time companies serving the region– calls connect but the person receiving the call cannot hear the caller. This has been a widespread problem in Marietta, impacting schools, hospitals, banks and other businesses, the Washington County Courthouse and many other places, as well as residents.
The one question we all have is: Why was this allowed to go on for so long?
Some have said they’ve had the problem for more than two weeks; many more for more than a week. Some reported just Wednesday morning that the problem seemed to finally be resolved. Suddenlink said they had gotten reports of the problem as far away as Gallipolis.
This isn’t just a few hours or a day without reliable service during an outage. This has cost businesses money, potentially created emergency situations for those who are elderly, have medical issues or are homebound, and has been a major hurdle to receiving services for many.
Suddenlink has said the issue is with AT&T. Little information was provided to customers as they reported problems, with the head of the Washington County IT department saying he filed a complaint with AT&T and didn’t hear back for days. Regardless of who is to blame, we think there needs to be an investigation into what happened and how to prevent it in the future. That may need to come from our legislators or from an agency like the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.
Congressman Bill Johnson, a Marietta resident, said this week he is aware of the situation and monitoring it. We would like to see more happening, from our local and state leaders in particular.
A long-term communications issue of this breadth is not only inconvenient, it’s dangerous. We expect our elected officials and service agencies to step up and get to the bottom of this.