Time Warner Cable suffers major outage; New York launches probe

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BOSTON/WASHINGTON – Warner Cable Inc, the No. 2 .S. cable operator, suffered a massive network outage on Wednesday due human error that cut Internet services some 11 million businesses and residences, prompting a state investigation.

The outage all of its Internet customers across 29 began at about 4:30 a.m. EDT (0830 GMT), said spokesman Bobby Amirshahi. Services were restored by 7.30 a.m, he said.

The outage came at a critical for Warner, which is working to win FCC approval of a $45 billion proposed merger Comcast Corp, the largest .S. cable provider as market say that customers are frustrated by the frequency and handling of previously disclosed service disruptions.

The blamed a glitch for bringing down the network. It said an “erroneous configuration” had been inserted when technicians conducted routine, overnight maintenance on its Internet backbone.

“A failure of this size is very serious and we are taking the steps to our processes the objective of making sure this doesn’t happen again,” Amirshahi said.

The outage affected 2 percent of all .S. Internet networks, according to Renesys, a firm that monitors global Internet activity.

Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the state’s Department of Public Service to investigate the disruption as it reviews the ’s planned merger Comcast.

“Dependable Internet service is a vital link our daily lives and telecommunications companies have a responsibility to deliver reliable service to their customers,” Cuomo said a statement.

“We apologize for the early morning disruption service and we intend to discuss any of the governor’s concerns with him as well as the many consumer merits of our merger,” Amirshahi said.
Such wide-scale outages are rare the United , said Jim Cowie, chief scientist with Renesys’ parent DYN.

The outage came one day after the company agreed to pay $1.1 million to U.S. regulators found it did not properly disclose multiple network outages last year, highlighting an issue that has long been a sore point with some customers.

A recent by consulting firm cg42 found that 59 percent of Warner Cable customers were frustrated by their cable provider, in part because of outages and disruptions.

Customers are often not reimbursed for disruptions and frustrated by lack of information about when to expect service to be restored, said cg42 founder Steve Beck.

Todd Mitchell, an analyst at Brean Capital has a “buy” rating on Time Warner Cable stock, said that the company has not invested enough money in its network.

“One would hope that any company that operated a network of this scale would put in the appropriate redundancies so that something like this wouldn’t happen,” he said. (Reuters)[eap_ad_3]