Suddenlink CEO says full restoration to Lake Charles area won’t be until mid-November

Some residents in Ravenna say they are experiencing internet issues with provider Suddenlink
Some residents in Ravenna say they are experiencing internet issues with provider Suddenlink
Updated: Sep. 24, 2020 at 5:32 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) - Suddenlink has come under fire for what many elected officials consider an unacceptable response to restoration of service following Hurricane Laura.

Suddenlink CEO Dexter Goei traveled to Lake Charles from New York Thursday to tour the devastation.

He said that full restoration in the Lake Charles area would not take place until mid-November. Goei said as of today there are just under 1,000 workers in the Lake Charles area

“We’ve got roughly 19 percent of the Lake Charles area up and running,” Goei said. “That’s approximately 8,000 households out of 43,000. We expect to have 50 percent, which is just over 20,000 households, over the next two weeks. And then another 20 to 25 percent every two weeks thereafter. So, if you just stretch it out to the middle of November that takes you to 100 percent, but we hope to be able to get there quicker.”

Goei also addressed medical facilities and schools.

“In terms of critical infrastructure, the health care facilities have mostly been addressed,” Goie said. “In terms of the schools, there are 11 critical facilities for us to address. Nine of them will be up and running by Monday. And the last two, shortly thereafter.”

Goei also is being criticized for what some see as being immersed in efforts to buy a Canadian company several days after Hurricane Laura — which some interpret as a lack of interest in the suffering and devastation here. But he denies that.

“The precise nature of that transaction that you’re alluding to was a letter written to the board of directors of that company - a negotiation, not an interaction, a letter,” Goie said. “So, if the constituents believe one letter would take my eyes off the ball from focusing on the rest of our operations, it’s a little bit misread.”

And Goei says people will receive credit on their bills for service they have not received during the hurricane. He also says customers will not be charged for Suddenlink equipment that was destroyed in the storm.

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