ST. JAMES CITY
Some people still without internet after Hurricane Ian have been cut off from communication for nearly two months. One man in St. James City depends on that online infrastructure to help people and only had his connection restored on Sunday.
Without the internet, David Sperling says he cannot do his job. David works with hearing-impaired people, and not having an internet connection for a few weeks kept him from helping them. He called his Comcast internet provider and explained the situation, and how important having the internet is to him. Sperling says his internet connection was restored shortly thereafter.
“I missed it,” Sperling said. “And even though I’m 70, and I should be retired, I don’t want to be retired. And this was my first taste of being retired. It didn’t feel right. And I just told him how much I missed it, and I knew my clients missed me. And he took care of it; I don’t know how.”
Sperling says he started an online chat on Comcast’s website and got ahold of an agent. While he was lucky enough to get his internet connection back, there are still many who have been complaining about theirs going in and out. Some people are still waiting for their connection to be restored.
CenturyLink says 86% of its core network in Lee County is restored and will have a larger percentage restored by mid-December. Some parts that were hit harder by Ian, like north Lee County, may not be restored until the beginning of 2023.
“It’s one of these situations where no customer’s the same,” said Guy Gunther, vice president and general manager of CenturyLink. “It depends on how the wind and the water impacted their specific home, and the network that serves their neighborhood. But, like I said, we are working as fast as we can to get everybody up.”
“You realize, once it’s gone, how much you depend on it, not just for email, because we had cellular service,” Sperling said. “But the high-speed nature of streaming television, streaming music, just everyday communication, staying in touch with the world.”
If you still don’t have a stable internet connection, CenturyLink is offering free-wifi hotspots.