Northern California residents and its neighbors are still reeling from the devastating fires that continue to whip through Napa and Sonoma Counties. In times like this, people look for information. Information on how to connect with loved ones, the status of their property and when they can get their lives back to normal.
Here at Comcast, our hearts go out to those affected by the wildfires. We know there are a number of people who are still trying to get to safety as new evacuation orders are coming down this morning. We are staying close to local authorities to give us access to devastated areas so we can assess the damage. Our priority is the safety of residents, customers and our employees.
In emergency situations like this, we stay close to local authorities such as police and fire personnel who are determining access to utility providers like Comcast and PG&E. We work in tandem with the power company to restore services as quickly as possible. This is a multi-layered process. PG&E is responsible for installing new power poles and repairing the infrastructure needed to supply power to the community. Once that’s in place, we can then attach services to the home.
Power is key so once power is back up and running, then our technicians can assess and begin work to repair the damage.
The damage can present itself in various ways. In this instance, with our fiber lines overhead on poles, most likely the fiber lines are damaged due to the heat from the fire. The poles can present a danger if they are compromised. If the poles are down, the fiber lines can be laying on the ground. Another danger is the air quality. If the air quality is poor, utility crews are not allowed access despite the terrain.
How to Connect
Since the start of the wildfires, Comcast’s Technical Operations and Engineering teams have been working around the clock formulating the most efficient plan to review, restore and retain all services for our customers. In the meantime, we have expanded our free WiFi Hotspot service to everyone and not just for Xfinity customers.
Once at a hotspot, select the “xfinitywifi” network name in the list of available hotspots and then launch a browser.
XFINITY Internet customers can sign in with their username and password, and they will be automatically connected at XFINITY WiFi hotspots in the future.
Non-XFINITY Internet subscribers should visit the “Not an XFINITY Internet Customer” section on the sign-in page to get started.
For a map of XFINITY WiFi hotspots, which are located both indoors and outdoors in places such as shopping districts, parks and businesses, please visit www.xfinity.com/wifi.
We’re also working to provide free WiFi access to more than 20 evacuation centers in the affected areas. The six highlighted centers below have services up and will continue to get more up soon. To connect in the following evacuation centers, select “ComcastWiFi”, no password is needed to gain access.
Petaluma Community Center, 320 North McDowell Blvd., Petaluma
Church of Christ, 370 Sonoma Mountain Parkway, Petaluma
Victory Outreach Church 4042 Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa
Lawrence Cook Middle School, 2480 Sebastopol Road, Santa Rosa
Sonoma Valley High School, 20000 Broadway, Sonoma
Analy High School Gym, 6950 Analy Ave., Sebastopol
Sonoma County Fairgrounds, 1350 Bennet Valley Road, Santa Rosa
Finley Community Center, 2060 West College Ave., Santa Rosa
Santa Rosa Veterans Building, 1351 Maple Ave., Santa Rosa
Cloverdale Citrus Fair, 1 Citrus Fair Drive, Cloverdale
Healdsburg Community Center, 1157 Healdsburg Ave., Healdsburg
New Life Church, 1310 Clegg St., Petaluma
Guerneville Veterans Hall, 16255 First St., Guerneville
Monte Rio School, 20700 Foothill Drive, Monte Rio
Windsor High School, 8695 Windsor Road, Windsor
Casa Grande High School, 3333 Casa Grande Road, Petaluma
Petaluma Church of Christ, 370 Sonoma Mountain Parkway
Petaluma New Life Church, 1310 Clegg St.
Burton Recreation Center, 7421 Burton Ave., Rohnert Park
Calvary Chapel of Petaluma, 1955 S. McDowell Blvd., Petaluma
Petaluma Veterans Memorial Hall, 1094 Petaluma Blvd. S, Petaluma
Sonoma-Marin Fair, 175 Fairgrounds Drive, Petaluma
As power is back online in small pockets, some of our customers are reporting the ability to see their homes via the XFINITY Home app. With the smart home service, some customers are able to see their home with their mobile devices via indoor/outdoor cameras.
Thank You for Your Patience
At times like this, we understand that comfort can be found in various ways. We hope to restore those comforts like phone, television and Internet as soon as possible. It’s not lost on us that tuning into sports at a time like this can give people a much-needed distraction or watching the Minions can alleviate the fears of children who can’t understand what has happened to their home. Thank you for your patience as we work to return those comforts back to you.