Click customers who have been having problems with internet and phone service during the past three days, you’re not alone.
Scheduled maintenance on the Click network’s internet routers that was set for Wednesday between midnight and 6 a.m. didn’t go as planned, a Tacoma Public Utilities spokeswoman said. The result has been spotty digital voice and internet service, and in some cases, none at all. That problem has persisted, especially for customers of Rainier Connect, one of the companies that leases space on Click’s wires to sell phone and internet directly to customers.
“We rerouted last night and everything was working for our customers at that point, but something happened over night so we’re looking at it again this morning,” said Lorie Hills, part of Rainier Connect’s executive team. “Our customers are experiencing some intermittent issues with digital phone and internet — it could be slow speeds, it could be inability to get to certain websites.”
On Wednesday, the city of Tacoma and TPU’s websites were down much of the day. Many of the city’s intranet functions, which run on Click’s network, weren’t working or were working slowly. Emails were sluggish or never came through, and people trying to make payments on the city’s website had a hard time doing so.
TPU spokeswoman Chris Gleason said the scheduled maintenance to replace aging core routers with new ones failed: The routing tables that direct people to the correct IP addresses were not working. To fix that, the old routers were reinstalled, Gleason said, but one of the router cards failed. Click employees worked through the night to get the old routers back online, she said, and were still working with the manufacturer to fix the router configurations. The original mission of replacing the old routers with new ones hasn’t been rescheduled.
“There is some residual (issues) from this,” Gleason said. “Most of the issues at least internally are fixed, and they’re working on some of these other things.”
Gleason said conditions were better as of 9 a.m. Friday, but about 45 minutes later Click’s general manager informed Gleason that many voice customers were still reporting problems. Some also have reported intermittent issues with internet service.
Tacoma businesses have taken to Facebook and Twitter to alert their customers to the outage. For much of the past three days, when customers or vendors would call Cooks Tavern in the North End, they would get a message that the number is no longer working, said owner Peter Levy. Outgoing calls were also a problem.
“We’ve been without phone service for three days, and I mean it’s decimated my business,” Levy said. “When people are calling us they were told that the phone number was no longer active ... so it made it appear that our restaurant was out of business.”
Levy is a Rainier Connect customer and said in the nearly six months the restaurant has been open, he hasn’t had any problems with Click’s internet and digital voice service until now.
“It’s been very frustrating that Click can’t keep their lines working, and it makes us wonder if we should be, instead of using the municipal service, should we be using Comcast?” Levy said.