Disabled Veteran Gets Help With Phone Service After Outage



Antietam Broadband made a software change last week to improve its operating system for Internet and telephone service, and most of the company’s customers have not experienced any issues, according to its president.

But a bedridden Vietnam vet who lives off Mt. Aetna Road said on Monday it was without phone service and was having trouble getting help. His service was restored later that day after Herald-Mail Media provided the company with a contact number for him.

Broadband Antietam offers broadband and cable service, which includes telephone service.

Antietam chairman Brian Lynch said on Monday that the company had changed its “provisioning software.” This is an upgrade for the business that will allow it to be more responsive in resolving service issues, Lynch said.

Lynch said the change took place Wednesday evening and Thursday morning, and 93% of the company’s customers had not experienced any issues. The remaining 7% who encountered problems were asked to unplug their modems and plug them back in, Lynch said.

This resolved 90% of the outstanding issues and the company faced very few service issues on Monday, Lynch said.

Lynch declined to say how many customers the company has.

Ned L. Spessard Jr., 71, is a Vietnam War veteran. He is bedridden and his disability is 100% service related, according to documents he provided from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Spessard said in a telephone interview on Monday that he lost his Antietam phone service on Thursday and was still on Monday afternoon. His wife has a cell phone, but she says her husband finds it difficult to use it.

Spessard said he called Antietam Broadband to report his problem, mentioning the urgency of his situation and explaining his disability.

Spessard said he was told the company couldn’t prioritize calls due to situations like his.

“This is where I got a little pissed off,” he said. “What if there’s a fire or something?” ”

Spessard said he only lost his phone service, adding that the company had provided instructions on what to do if his phone service did not return. He said he followed all the instructions.

Lynch said what Spessard said about the company not prioritizing appeals due to unique circumstances was not true. He said the company strives to take care of customers in situations like Spessard’s.

Lynch said he wanted to make contact with Spessard, and the veteran agreed to have a reporter from Herald-Mail Media provide the company with a contact number for him.

Spessard said later that day that an Antietam representative called him and “apologized profusely.”

And his phone service was restored.

Lynch stated that all Antietam Broadband customers with service issues can call 301-797-5000.



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