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Internet installation causes issues for some Columbia residents

Residents of Southview Drive are experiencing outages of water and cable due to Socket installing fiber internet in the neighborhood.

Socket confirmed Wednesday that they hit water mains during installation that caused the outages.

Adam Voight, the marketing manager for Socket, said the locates for the project were about 4 feet off, which caused their subcontractors to come in contact with the water line.

While a KOMU 8 reporter was in the area on Wednesday afternoon, there was also a gas leak on the street. Socket crews at the scene said the digging for the internet installation hit a service line which caused the gas leak.

Residents of the area are frustrated with outages and the response from Socket.

"I contacted them through Facebook," Dea Hollembeak, a resident of Southview Drive said. "You know, saying thanks a lot, running fiber through a neighborhood that doesn't really want it, I don't think. And, you've messed it up."

Another resident of the street, Carol Thompson, works online. She reached out to Socket because she is worried about what could happen if she were to lose internet during her work hours.

"I do some veteran one-to-one peer support stuff," Thompson said. "If I was working with a veteran yesterday and trying to talk them off the ledge and I lost service, it would be devastating to me not knowing what would happen to them."

Hollembeak said the service outages started almost from the get-go after Socket started installing the internet on Monday.

"At 7 o'clock when you don't have any water, it's harder to make dinner. It's harder to get your kids to bed," Hollembeak said.

Despite the issues, some residents are looking forward to the new internet access for their neighbors.

"Granted with more people working from home, it's a benefit," Hollembeak said.

The Boone County Fire Protection District responded to the gas leak and did not evacuate area residents. A fire official said the gas leak wasn't dangerous.

KOMU 8 is a full-powered NBC affiliate operating as an independent commercial property. As such, KOMU 8 is the only major network affiliate in the United States that acts as a university-owned commercial television station utilizing its newsroom as a working lab for students.