Power has come back on for most of the Berkeley Pacific Gas and Electric Co. customers who lost it after Tuesday’s windy rainstorm, but internet service is lagging for many in the city.
Residents and students took to Twitter to bemoan going several days without access to the internet. At least one wrote directly to Berkeleyside.
Brad Gallien, who lives in North Berkeley, said his Xfinity cable and internet went out around 4 p.m. Tuesday and he was still waiting for it to be restored Friday. For him, that means the option of working from home is no longer available.
“It’s not the end of the world — it’s just annoying,” Gallien said.
Cell reception in his neighborhood is also unreliable, so mobile devices are not the workaround it could be elsewhere.
Jon Koriel, a spokesman for Comcast, which operates Xfinity, said the provider “has to wait until PG&E deems the area safe and secure, removing the debris, fixing power lines” before repair workers can ensure that cable and internet service is back up and running.
As of midday Friday, PG&E was showing just 1,556 customers in all of Alameda County without power, down from more than 52,000 at the height of the outages.
At one point, there were “142,000 customers across Northern California (without) PG&E which impacted their Comcast services,” Koriel said.
Comcast had “no fiber damage and minimal coax damage due to down poles and trees,” Koriel said. “Our services will restore once PG&E services restore.”
Gallien said he has power and doesn’t believe his home ever lost it after Tuesday’s storm. He said neighbors with other internet providers had service.
Complicating the restoration process, somebody stole an Xfinity truck in Berkeley Thursday, Koriel confirmed. There were no reported injuries to workers.
Comcast is working with city police “to investigate further,” Koriel said.
In limited circumstances, customers affected by service disruptions may be eligible for credits, Koriel said. They can call Comcast at 888-936-4968, and the company will review requests on a case-by-case basis.
Photo: Citizen reporter
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