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Storms knock down Internet in Shenandoah County


Daily Staff Reports

Three-quarters of the Shenandoah County residents who had lost DSL Internet service on Sunday were online again about 24 hours later, according to Shentel Vice President of Customer Service Kevin Folk.

Storms Sunday afternoon "created a little bit of a problem with the servers," Folk said Monday afternoon.

"I'm assuming every one of our DSL customers" in the county lost power, he said. Folk estimated Shentel has about 9,000 of those.

When the power came back on all at one time across the county, all of the modems tried to re-authenticate every 2 seconds, causing issues, he said. Plus, many customers forgot the user names and passwords necessary for getting back online, according to Folk.

By Sunday night, about 75 percent of users had had service restored, he said.

"Our call queues are busy," Folk said. "We've worked on this all weekend long with our data network folks and our people in the field, and our technical support staff is working very tirelessly trying to get every single call, and resolve the customers' issues as quickly as possible."




33 Comments



A few things are wrong with this story.

#1. We're "assuming" all 9000 DSL customers power went out and came back on at the exact same time even though there are multiple utility providers in the county? Only other thing that would cause all 9000 customers to re-auth at once would be the equipment they authenticate to, going down (shentel equipment in an office somewhere). Which of these two options are more likely?

#2. Passwords for DSL are recorded in the DSL modem, and are not normally required to be entered for "getting back online" unless they've been reset at the telco end. DSL modems get rebooted everyday without requiring a password. Remember getting DSL modem replacements in the mail, or picking them up at the office? Passwords were already recorded in the device when you received it. You never had to enter it. When was the last time your power went out and you had to enter a password to get access when power was restored?

#3. Shentels website was unreachable from web browsers attempting to connect from outside Shentels service, I.e. smartphones on cellular data service. This wouldn't be caused by shentel customers power problems.

all that said, my dsl was only out for about 9hrs, and it's the longest noticed outage I've experience in the past 8yrs. I'm pleased with my experience with Shentels internet service to this point and appreciate their efforts for speedy restoration of service.

Shentel has been reliable over the years and customer service has been very responsive.

I have to admit I was scratching my head after reading this article too. I too noticed that shentel.net which redirects to shentel.com was unreachable via smartphone also from aproximately 5.00 PM on Sunday till 9.00 am or so on Monday. I had concluded that the storm around that time had knocked the power out in Edinburg. Certainly the power in my neighborhood in Strasburg had not been affected. When my dsl service did eventually kick back yesterday morning it did so without a request for authentication. The only time I have ever needed a password in the past was when I swapped out my modem for one I purchased at the store because the comtrend kept dropping my connection.

Un-equipped; un-prepared; un-reliable.. Go modern Shentel!! DSL!!?? Went out with yesterday's bad news!! Reggie Arno Danville Virginia..

As pointed out above, it sounds more like Shentel had a power/server problem from the storm of some sort.

Any provider worth it's salt would have a backup power source such as a generator that switches on automatically to keep glitches from happening, and keeping their servers on line.

9000 customer times what ever they charge a month (say $35 which is probably low) is $315,000 a month. I know they have to pay salaries and other exspense but they can afford to establish a backup power supply.

day 3 without connectivity. callback request is unanswered. customer service #fail. having to check email from work prior to the day getting started.

Missed being able to watch the landing of the Mars Science Lab/Curiosity rover. Was hoping to see the event live as broadcast on the NASA/JPL website. Oh well.

Well when you are looking at having to credit your 9000 customers for the 9 hours they were without internet, you might have to forgo a bonus or two, so just tell everyone it was the power company, we saw a similar problem the last big storm when everyone did lose power, and they had generator problems then as well. This is symptomatic of old, antiquated infrastructure that dates back to the days before the internet. DSL is the oldest form of internet out there, everyone is providing wireless and internet over cable, along with voice and video, but they can't do that either, well I guess when they get the whole cable thing right they can work on the internet, thank goodness for Satelite, which is where your cable from Shentel gets the signal from anyway.

A poor excuse for poor performance. Your home computer has a buffer and prioritizes during start up and normal operation. So we will have an outage every time there is a major power outage. Shentel needs to fix their problem and not make excuses. But what do you expect from the technology leader, tinker toy tel. It is time for the SCC to allow competition in this closed market.

Unfortunate this outage happened. I have had the opportunity to use many different internet services over the years, and have to compliment Shentel on their Customer Service representatives. Their CSRs conduct themselves in a very professional manner and have the patience of Job.

Wow, all this complaining about technology. I could see if most of you all work from home and need it. It was just off for 9 hours, and overnight. Do we place loosing internet with loosing drinking water for a day?

I wish some people would stop there whining and complaining!

Well when you are looking at having to credit your 9000 customers for the 9 hours they were without internet, you might have to forgo a bonus or two, so just tell everyone it was the power company, we saw a similar problem the last big storm when everyone did lose power, and they had generator problems then as well. This is symptomatic of old, antiquated infrastructure that dates back to the days before the internet. DSL is the oldest form of internet out there, everyone is providing wireless and internet over cable, along with voice and video, but they can't do that either, well I guess when they get the whole cable thing right they can work on the internet, thank goodness for Satelite, which is where your cable from Shentel gets the signal from anyway.

As a matter of fact I do work from home and rely on my internet to be as reliable as my land line, which by the way was not out. HHHMMMM, now how come my phone worked and my internet was did not, I can't understand that. The power went out, I didn't lose power by the way, and yet my phone worked but my DSL (DIGITAL SUBSCRIBER LINE) which is fed over the same lines as my LAND LINE. I will stop complaining when they admit the problem was on there end....

I agree with u 100%. I also work from home and need the internet to do my job. I could not work sunday because of shentel. Shentel never takes responsibility. They have old unreliable equipment and they do not care about upgrading. When it went out for 2 days in the past it was because of their equipment. I am allowed to complain. I have paid shentel lots of money for 11 years and I have no other options which is bs. I am out of money this week because I could not work on sunday so I do not give a crap about shentels lame excuses. I live in strasburg and we never lost power. But we know that if it rains,storms,snows,wind blows or someone farts that we will lose the dsl. Nobody move or the internet will go out but remember it is everyones fault but the people u pay for service.

So you think competition will help resolve internet/cable outages faster than it was? Not so. If you believe completion would help reduce the length of an outage you would also be incorrect. If it was profitable for another company to investment that much money within the county as another source of internet/cable it would have already been done.
Otherwise, good luck with obtaining an entity that will pour the amount of capital needed to implement an underground fiber to the home backbone. Once you have the infrastructure in place, acquire another source to provide channel programming. There are not too many choices. It’s either satellite or satellite....any cable system no manner where they are located, are using channel programming provided by satellite in one form or another. If you have lived outside of the Shenandoah county seat you would know by now. Even those in the Northern VA region in the Fairfax county area would know better. Outages there are extremely common, multiple times a day. Those outages are related to power, equipment failures, human error, accidents, etc. All it takes is one contractor, homeowner or driver to cut or damage the fiber trunk line underground or a pedestal and you’re out of service for days not hours. Ultimately, the amount of interruption you have experience is minimal compared to larger systems located in dense, over developed areas of sprawl. The residents located in the Shenandoah county are fortunate to have a locally operate system. Nine hours is not the end of the world.

When you are the only option the citizens of Shenandoah County have, you need to be the best in Telecommunications! With the outrageous fees that we pay each month, you would expect the best product on the market. Then again, Shentel isn't worried about the service it provides as long as they get their money from us. This is good ole boy mentality at its best!

Wow do u work for shentel or are related to somene that does work for them? 9 hours is not the end of the world? Hello I work online,so yeah it sucks and does matter even if you may not think so. You seem awfully invested which I find amusing:) Oh and by the way alot of us would like more options. You can talk about other counties all you want. Outages are extremely common? Yes they are and always are if u are a shentel customer. Are u serious? Alot of the issues comes from their old equipment and everyone knows it. Maybe if your crappy internet affected your income,maybe you might not be so quick to be condescending.

Couldnt have said it better myself. Perfect!

God help us if we get 10" of rain from a hurricane. Maybe this little thunderstorm was a head's up for Shentel to make their service a little more robust.

I have never received a credit when my dsl is not working. Are you serious you have? Please let me know. One time mine was off for 2 days, my bill was the same.

hey Danni, I probably will still call you a whiner! I'm not sure what kind of company you work for, but If I had to work for the 9 or so hours overnight on sunday through monday morning to make ends meet, I'd be looking for other work. hopefull. Hopefully you don't live in a household that had 4 or more brand new cars in the driveway. I guess I''m probably making uneducated guesses on you and I'm sure I'll hear objectives later.

I used to work for a company and as we downsized, I worked from home af few years after 9/11 happened, and we ended up bringing our replacements over from overseas to train, so they would a short time later be our replacements (now that is a whole new probably political/.story in itself). I really enjoyed working from home, could work the 40 + hours I wanted and my work week never ended on a monday morning....but Maybe things have changed or maybe you have deadlines?

I;ve changed careers since then, and have less and less to do with the internet/networking in my jobs. I know society and company's really depend on this, and hope that it never comes crashing down. It would be a cripppling blow to this country.

Yep Shentel could probably need some sort of generator, etc. But I figure Sunday night should not be so critical.

.....and yep I just came in from the hen houses, so you can just go ahead and call me one of the good ole boys. So maybe another county would be good for you!

Its hilarious to me how anytime someone has an opinion that disagrees with the masses,it is maybe u should move to another county or u must not be from around here. Wow your ignorance is showing.

You would still call me a whiner because I want my internet to work so I can do my job? Wow sorry dont know what to say to that except u cant fix stupid. Oh an I own one car and before that my last car was 15 years old. I pay all my bills on time and my husband works his ass off daily. I live within my means,thank u:) Not that this is any of your business. We were talking about shentel and yet u starting talking about how many cars someone has in their driveway. You seem like a close minded moron. Regardless of the fact I work at home, I still have a boss and yes I work overnight on Sunday. Your comments are ignorant. Maybe you have too much time on your hands if u have to wonder how many cars someone has when they are upset about their internet provider. Oh and u sound bitter:)

Noticing a *significant* increase in time for my email account to connect, and intermittent ability to connect to a news server since the outage.

danni-that's you user name? Correct? When you debate an issue, you do just that. You discuss the issue. When you allow you're personal opinion or problems facilitate out towards another readers opinion-then you no longer have a debate.
It wouldn't manner what occurred on Sunday night or what didn't your disappointment goes deeper than that. No one has scrutinizing you.
It would be an observation based on your thoughts that you, yourself have made part of the forum. As shenandoah1 stated, it was an uneducated guess. Just as you have assumed I work for the cable system. You go on the rampage when your opinion has been challenged. First get your facts straight, don’t speculate.
Unless, you have experienced or reputable date to back up those accusations, I wouldn’t address them. Kindly, keep to the subject at hand. If you find can’t then remove yourself from the discussion board.

Yes it is Danni,thank u for asking. Debating? Really? Um, we I stated my OPINION that shentel sucks, you got your panties ina bunch. Typical for know it alls such as yourself. Funny that I was called a whiner about stating my OPINION about a service that I pay for every month. Yet when I stated MY OPINION, not only was I called a whiner but it drifted to why do u need to work on a sunday night,you might want to find a new job and i hope u are not one of those people that have 4 new vehicles in your driveway. Now is that sticking with the topic?? Legion? That is your name correct? Ok then:) You and your buddy shenandoahs comments are so laughable and Your comments are off topic and personal. Do you seriously think you have kept to the subject at hand??
Oh by the way,you do not control if I "remove " myself from a discussion board. Thats pretty funny though. Its funny,you accuse others of going off topic when u and others on here attack everyone whose opinion says anything you consider anti- shenandoah county. But dont think for one second you control who posts comments on here. But I have realized trying to have an opinion on this site is pointless especially when the redneck police think they can control what people write. But thank you because the stupidity that you and shenandoah have shown have made me giggle the last couple days. U arent worth commenting with anymore because you dont seem to know what OTHERS sharing their opinion means. So its kinda like talking to a 5 year old. I apologize to all the 5 year olds. Rampage ? When I state my opinion of
an internet company? Rampage? Lol

hey Danni, Sorry for the uneducated guess on you. So I'm human enough to say my appoligies. I guess this Reply'ing to articles on here behind pen names seems a bit.....well I'm sure you all know what I'm getting at.

I guess i must have been submitting text on here as you were submitting on here Danni

Email connect speeds are now comparable to speeds before the outage. And, I switched to an alternate news server which seems to work fine.

Groovy!! I loved that thunderstorm south of Strasburg last night! :)

It's pointless to discuss the link further, your bitterness, over a few hours offline was redundant. Call the company for your credit.....for those 9 long hours. That may come to 2.70 cents for your internet service. Sharing your opinion is fine. However, the ranting and raging you’ve done to get your point across was exhausting.

Sprinkles this morning south of Strasburg, my corn is taking out the straws.



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