Miami Beach

Car crash knocks out cable, Internet on Miami Beach; Provider agrees to credit customers

Crews work near 71st Street and Indian Creek Drive on Miami Beach after a car hit a light pole just after midnight on New Year’s Day.
Crews work near 71st Street and Indian Creek Drive on Miami Beach after a car hit a light pole just after midnight on New Year’s Day. Twitter

Some residents of Miami Beach woke up on New Year’s Day without power, Internet or cable after a car felled a light pole on North Beach just after midnight.

After cable and internet outage continued long into the evening, leaving thousands of sports fans frustrated on one of the biggest college football days of the year, the provider announced Friday it was issuing a service credit to its customers affected by the outage.

Miami Beach police said the accident occurred in the 7100 block of Indian Creek Drive, knocking out services in the area. The driver was not injured.

Electric power was restored by 6:30 a.m. to the 90 households affected, according to Florida Power & Light spokeswoman Florencia Contesse.

Atlantic Broadband, the main cable and Internet provider in Miami Beach, issued statements that it had been working to restore fiber cables throughout the day.

“We apologize for the delay. The damage is extensive,” the company tweeted on Thursday afternoon, noting that work was expected to continue for several more hours. “We have multiple crews on site working to repair the fiber damage.”

In a letter addressed to Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, the company said it had restored service to all of its customers by 10 p.m. Thursday, and customers can get a credit for the service they lost.

“Over the coming 60 days, customers may call our call centers and receive a service credit related to this event,” said David J. Keefe, a senior vice president at Atlantic Broadband.

In a note to Beach residents, Levine said he wants to discuss with the City Commission ways to reduce the city’s vulnerability in the future.

On Thursday night, the company had tweeted that all services were supposed to be restored within an hour. But people on Twitter continued to complain about outages into the middle of the evening.

“Dear @AtlanticBBInc, Please don't trouble yourself fixing my cable/internet anymore,” user @DavidHarkleroad complained after the company’s evening tweet. “I'm calling Dish and AT&T tomorrow.”

The outage came on a day traditionally spent watching television. Among the five college football bowl games played on New Year’s Day was the Rose Bowl between No. 2 Florida State and No. 3 Oregon at 5 p.m.

Additionally, many shoppers said they had to use cash at businesses in the area because credit card readers were not functioning.

Around 5 p.m., Atlantic Broadband reported that 85 percent of broadband was restored in Aventura, Sunny Isles Beach, Bal Harbour and Surfside. Many areas of Miami Beach remain affected.

“Many areas on Alton Road and Collins Avenue and surrounding streets are still down and being work on by our crews,” read one of the latest tweets.

Miami Herald reporter Joey Flechas contributed to this report.