Socket customers in Hallsville left without Internet service

Friday, July 18, 2014 | 5:31 p.m. CDT; updated 5:51 p.m. CDT, Friday, July 18, 2014

COLUMBIA — About 20 Hallsville customers still lack high-speed Internet access from Socket after the service went down earlier this week.

The loss of service for Socket Telecom customers occurred when CenturyLink, the company that owns the telephone lines, stopped providing the wholesale services that Socket uses to offer high-speed Internet to its Hallsville area customers, Socket marketing manager Allie Schomaker said.

She said CenturyLink is making changes to its network and will no longer offer the services.

CenturyLink said it will expand high-speed Internet service to residential and business customers in Centralia and Hallsville, the company said in a news release Friday. CenturyLink said its latest upgrades will increase speeds to 40 megabits per second in several areas.

The company has been planning the expansion of upgraded speeds for months and informed local Internet service providers of the pending upgrade, said Gregory Baker, Century Link's market development manager.

Socket company said it hopes to be able to offer high-speed DSL Internet service by the end of the year, but there isn't a specific date or timeline, Schomaker said.

In the meantime, Socket said customers who ask to keep their email addresses would be allowed to do so, and the company plans to help affected customers look for alternative Internet providers, Schomaker said.

Supervising editor is Seth Klamann.

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