Month after wildfires, some Gatlinburg residents still without cable, internet

GATLINBURG (WATE) – Many homeowners in Gatlinburg are still without cable and internet one month after the fires. Customers of Charter Spectrum in the Roaring Fork area have reached out to WATE 6 On Your Side saying they’re not getting answers from the company.

Some customers say they’ve continued to be billed, despite not having service.

Lee Harbin has tried to contact Charter several times to get answers about why he doesn’t have service.

“‘Somebody will be in contact with you in 24 hours.’ I’ve never received a call,” he said.

In the meantime, he’s been making trips into town.

“It’s like a dream come true when you go to a restaurant and have a good meal and watch television for a while,” said Harbin.

Alexis Sanwick is also improvising, going to friends’ houses for internet and trying to finish homework for her online class.

“It’s being an inconvenience for my friends who I have to depend on to get my stuff done,” she said.

If she can’t depend on them, she and her family access internet using their phones’ hotspot, meaning a hefty phone bill. While Roaring Fork, one of the hardest hit areas in the fires, is without Charter services, other areas close by are not.

“At SmartBank, I think they still have their internet and I can about throw a rock to the SmartBank,” said Harbin.

Charter says Harbin and Sanwick may have to wait a few more weeks. The company is working to restore 18 miles of cable networking damaged in the fires, but they have restored about 40 miles so far. Charter says it sympathizes with the victims of the Gatlinburg fires and are encouraging customers to call them if they have any questions about billing or disconnections, including if you have received a bill and do not have service, at 1-888-GET-CHARTER.

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