Flathead, Lake Co. back online after internet outage


MISSOULA, Mont. - In Flathead and Lake County Friday damage to a fiber-optic network caused service outages for Charter Communications customers. We spoke with affected customers from Polson all the way to Whitefish.

Kalispell resident John Hinchey is one of many residents throughout northwest Montana who woke up this morning in a similar situation.

"I tried to use the internet this morning, and it just wasn't working," Hinchey said.

Internet, cable and phones were off for Charter Communications customers from about 9:30 a.m. Friday morning until about 12:27 p.m. Friday afternoon.

Charter Communications northwest region director of communications Bret Picciolo said in a statement, "Damage to a third party carrier's fiber-optic network is impacting service for customers in Kalispell and the surrounding area. Our engineering team has engaged that carrier and is working to repair the damage and restore service as quickly as possible."

The outage had a massive impact on businesses throughout the region.

Papa Murphy's employees in Kalispell said the outage took out everything from their phone to their software system and their credit card machine.

The Red Lion had trouble checking customers in and out while the system was down.

Hinchey said the outage is a scary reminder of how reliant we've become on the internet. "It's really too bad to be so connected that we almost can't function,"? he said.