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-= Cause for Thursday's Portland OR area problems =-

THE OREGONIAN
February 13, 2004

PAGE B2
DAILY BRIEFING

Break in Comcast fiber-optics cuts off high-speed Internet

More than 175,000 Comcast high-speed Internet customers in Oregon and Southwest Washington lost their service for about three hours Thursday after a fiber-optic line west of downtown Portland was cut.

Customers from Eugene north to Southwest Washington had their servie interrupted, Comcast spokesman Dan Williams said.

A Comcast high-speed Internet service customer, John Johnson, was steamed at the failure and at his inability to get an explanation from Comcast. His company, Portland-based JMP Enterprises, sells massagers over the Web and couldn't conduct business. He said he spent 40 minutes on Comcast's customer service telephone line Thursday morning getting only a taped message.

"I don't blame them for being down," Johnson said. "But just give me some information. Do me the courtesy of letting me talk to a human being."

Comcast's cable television service was not affected by the failure, Williams said. Comcast serves about 600,000 customers in the region.

The Philadelphia company's fourth quarter revenue hit $4.74 billion, matching Wall Street's forecasts. Cable revenue rose 8.6 percent to $4.51 billion. High-speed Internet service revenue rose nearly 45 percent, bolstered by a nearly 46 percent jump in the number of subscribers.

-- Jeff Manning