An update of Frontier Communications software and hardware system has caused problems the last few days for some people who utilize the company's Internet services.

However, Elena Kilpatrick, area general manager for Frontier Communications for Pennsylvania, reported on Friday that Internet service is now available to 94 percent of its customer base in the area, and provided information on what people can do if they are still having trouble connecting to the Internet.

The Daily Review became aware of the problem when it was contacted on Friday by Steve Soluri, owner of Paula's Discount Eyeglasses in Towanda. Soluri explained that his business' Internet service - provided through Frontier - had not been available since Wednesday. Soluri said that he had spoke to a number of other local business owners who use Frontier for their Internet service, who told him they were experiencing the same problems. Soluri explained that he had received an e-mail from Frontier on Wednesday, indicating that Internet service would be down for a few hours as the company performed maintenance on the system. Soluri said he was concerned, because his service had not been restored as of Friday. He explained that Frontier representatives were unable to tell him what the problem was, or when the Internet would be restored, only saying that it may be as long as a week.

Soluri explained to The Review that he uses the Internet in many of his business transactions - such as filling customers eyeglass prescriptions, as well as billing - and was concerned about his operation losing money while the system is down.

The Review called Frontier Communications and was eventually put in touch with Kilpatrick, who provided information about what was causing the problem, as well as what can be done to correct the situation for customers who have not yet had their Internet services restored. Kilpatrick explained that Frontier conducted a major upgrade to its hardware and software communications system on Wednesday, requiring the entire system to be shut down for a few hours. The system was back on line as of 4 a.m. Thursday, Kilpatrick said, but a number of their customers were unable to re-establish their Internet connections for various reasons.

For Frontier customers who still do not have Internet service, Kilpatrick said, this is what they should do:

- Power cycle your modem. This is accomplished by unplugging the modem from the power source, waiting 30 to 60 seconds, then plugging it back in.

- While the modem is off, re-boot your computer.

One thing Kilpatrick said a person should NOT do is press the RESET button on the modem. This has nothing to do with the problems experienced by the system, she explained, and would require a new password and other technical assistance to get it operational once more.

Kilpatrick said power cycling the modem will probably help most people who have not yet had their Internet services restored with Frontier. However, she said, they are taking customer concerns on a case-by-case basis, because there are times when a technician must look at a system due to incompatibility problems or other situations. Anyone still experiencing such problems, she said, can call Frontier at 1 (800) 447-3140; or 1 (800) 652-3065 if the problem is specifically Internet related.

After concluding its conversation with Kilpatrick, The Review contacted Soluri, who was able to restore his Internet service with the provided information.

C.J. Marshall can be reached at (570) 265-1630; e-mail: cjmarshall@thedailyreview.com.