Frontier outage in Sarasota causes issues for seniors with Life Alert
SARASOTA - Friends and family of residents at a Suncoast independent senior living facility are worried after users in the building lost their Frontier phone and WiFi service. Some seniors had to turn to alternatives to maintain contact with the outside world.
Most Americans can't leave home without a cell phone. But 89-year-old Mae Miser had to pick up a cell phone for the first time as a last resort. Her daughter-in-law, Jill Graves said an android phone is her only window of communication. "My mother–in–law's phone service went out on February 28th and she has Frontier phone and WiFi," she said.
For Mae, WiFI and phone service is used for more than entertainment, it's her lifeline. "She has a Life Alert that's tied into the phone and a medication disbursement device that's tied in with the WiFi," Graves said.
Mae lives alone at the Jefferson Center of Sarasota. "Mae is recovering from a femur accident, she broke her right femur. And had been in the hospital, then rehab, now she is home. She fell and she had a heart attack, so yes, I am very concerned," Graves said.
Graves said she called Frontier February 28th. Two days later, service was restored. "By Sunday, it was down again. I have called and called and called. And all I get is, now that the line was cut by a construction crew, couple times later was that that wasn't the only damage to the line, there was more damage," she said.
Graves said she talked to management and learned other residents were struggling too. "They have a phone tag system here, where they check with each other in the morning to make sure everyone woke up and everything is good," she said.
Mae forgot to charge her cell phone one day, according to Graves, "I was really concerned because now I have a second line working. I finally got a hold of her friend and she went downstairs and banged on the door and got everything straightened out.."
Graves said, "We're talking a full 12 to 13 days."
In response to the incident, Bob Elek, Director of Public Relations for Frontier's Southern Region said Wednesday, "...damage by a third-party excavation contractor not affiliated with Frontier is causing the network service interruption at the Jefferson Center. Frontier crews responded immediately and have been working diligently as quickly as conditions allow to repair the damage and restore service."
Elek said service is expected to be restored by Thursday.