About 5,600 people in the Cedar Rapids area are still without internet nearly a month after the Aug. 10 derecho.
The main internet providers in the area — ImOn Communications and Mediacom — provided an update during the Cedar Rapids City Council’s Tuesday meeting.
Lisa Rhatigan, vice president of marketing at ImOn Communications, said 10 percent of customers are still without internet. That is an estimated 1,931 people.
“We didn’t slow down over the weekend, and we are experiencing some power fluctuations, which we kind of expected because just like us, many of the repairs that the power company put in place were sort of temporary to get people back up and running,” Rhatigan said. “Now they’re going back and making more permanent solutions. So whenever that occurs, you’ll have some fluctuations in service. So we’re dealing with that off and on, but otherwise we continue to make progress.”
Steve Purcell with Mediacom said 7 percent of customers are without internet, which is about 3,700 people. The goal is to get to under 3 percent by this weekend, Purcell added.
Councilmember Ashley Vanorny asked both representatives what they’re doing for the families in the meantime, especially with people relying more on the internet for work and school during the pandemic.
ImOn and Mediacom representatives both mentioned they have set up free wi-fi locations around the city and are doing their best to provide daily updates to families.
“We send an email to all our customers at least every other day, if not more often than that if we have something else to say,” Rhatigan said. “… I understand the irony of sending email when people don’t have access to the internet and it’s just difficult to work around that, and we also post on social media.”
Purcell said that Mediacom is working on a tracker that will display outages in the area to give people a better idea of what locations are still lacking internet access and when they can expect to get their internet back. The tracker and information should be available to people on Wednesday.