By Ryan Hill

WEST SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Walking the dog or getting the kids some fresh air is important during the shelter-at-home order. But, there’s something else that’s absolutely necessary for some people.

“Having to telecommute for work, distance learning for the kids, [we] heavily rely on the internet…our provider has been having some problems,” said paralegal Alex Wallace.

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Folks in the Southport area of West Sacramento have lost Wave Broadband’s internet not once, but twice. Sean Flansbaum also got hit hard with the outage.

“Yeah, I missed a full day of work because of the internet outage. I work remotely any way for a company based out of Ohio and we have not been able to catch up from yesterday’s work at all,” Flansbaum said.

Wave told CBS13 that the outages were caused by something completely out of their hands.

“The first one that happened on Thursday was an act of vandalism where we had an individual gain access into one of our cables enclosures and set our fiber optic cables on fire,” aid Jared Sonne, senior vice president and general manager of Wave Broadband for California and Oregon.

Sonne said police reports have been filed. The most recent outage that occurred on Tuesday, according to Sonne, was caused by an independent construction crew cutting a fiber line.

A similar incident happened to Deborah Gale in Davis with her Comcast internet. A math professor at American River College, Gale, needs her connection to teach.

“It’s high stress when you cannot get on your computer. There’s no television. I have a house phone, a cell phone. But all of that’s gone. It’s not there and I can’t contact my students,” Gale said.

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Gale and others understand those situations are things internet providers can’t control but some folks feel more can be done to keep their connection up and running.

“Making sure things are staying on but putting money back into the system to improve it,” Wallace said.

“We’re really dependent on these companies to install redundancy around the system,” Flansbaum said.

Wave and Comcast told CBS13 that they apologize for their respective outages.

Sonne said Wave is developing plans for more secondary fiber lines to ensure customers like those in West Sacramento are able to stay online if the primary line is damaged, but nothing is foolproof.

“There’s not really an infrastructure that can keep it from happening, you know, 100% of the time. So our goal and our objective is to keep the infrastructure as risk-free as possible.”

Comcast also told CBS13 that it is working on having redundancy plans in places like Davis to prevent possible outages.

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Additionally, Wave announced on Wednesday that it will expand its COVID-19 response policies for commercial and residential customers. It will offer free internet to low-income households and will not terminate services for those who are unable to pay their bills due to issues caused by the coronavirus.