Time Warner Cable customers across the U.S. experienced Internet service outages early Wednesday, although the company said most of its users should again have online access. The hours-long interruption was attributed to a problem that arose during maintenance.
"At 4:30 ET this morning during our routine network maintenance, an issue with our Internet backbone created disruption with our Internet and On Demand services," TWC spokesman Jeff Mangan told us in an e-mail. "As of 6 am ET, services were largely restored as updates continue to bring all customers back online."
The company provides a variety of services, including Internet connectivity, cable television, phone and home services. However, a vast majority of complaints during the outage involved a loss of Internet service, according to the Web site Downdetector.com.
TWC apologized to its users in a late-morning tweet. "TWC apologizes for Net outage that occurred early AM. We restored services at 6AM ET & customers can contact @TWC_Help anytime as needed," the tweet said.
New York and Ohio Hit
More than 8,000 comments were posted to Downdetector.com's page for reporting problems with Time Warner Cable service. The Web site reported that the issues began at 3:01 am EDT, with 96 percent of complaints connected to Internet service.
Complaint hotspots on Downdetector.com's outage map included the greater New York City area, the region around Buffalo and Rochester, a large swath of Ohio, the northern part of North Carolina, Los Angeles, Dallas and San Antonio.
FCC: $1.1 Million Civil Penalty
On Monday, the Federal Communications Commission released an order concluding an investigation into whether Time Warner Cable complied with the agency's network outage reporting requirements. The order found that the company had "failed to file a substantial number of reports with respect to a series of reportable wireline and Voice over Internet Protocol network outages," and ordered the payment of a $1.1 million civil penalty.
The FCC also required Time Warner Cable to "implement a three-year compliance plan to ensure future compliance with the Commission's network outage reporting rules."
Currently, the FCC is also considering Comcast's planned purchase of Time Warner Cable for $45 billion. The FCC's most recent action in regard to the planned acquisition, taken on Aug. 22, denied a request by the Los Angeles mayor's office to extend the filing deadline for comments and petitions from Aug. 25 to Sept. 8.
The Washington Post reported that the New York State Department of Public Service, which is also looking into the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger, would investigate Wednesday's outage as a part of its review process.