Comcast Experiences Widespread Outage, Again, and Again, and Again

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Internet provider ComCast experienced a widespread outage today, knocking countless Comcast customers off the Internet for the duration. The notice on the Comcast website is short and to the point, acknowledging the outage by saying “Connection to the Internet is currently unavailable. Our technicians are aware of the situation and are working to resolve the issue. This outage was logged at : 4/7/2005 5:32:00 PM EDT.”

It is followed by no fewer than three notices, all within minutes of each other, indicating that “scheduled maintenance” has been completed. Coincidence? Or not?

Aunty actually thinks that the more interesting similarity is that it appears that Comcast has a widespread outage on an annual basis. In searching for information about this outage, Aunty discovered, in near perfect chronological order, an article in Email Universe detailing a general Comcast outage in February of 2002, a post on OTWeb complaining of a general outage in May of 2003, and News.com coverage of a Comcast email outage in March of 2004. It would seem by this measure that the only thing unusual about this year’s outage is that it appears to be about a month late.


Interestingly, the News.com piece about last year’s email outage notes that it coincided with planned system work, which brings to mind the three notices of this year’s “scheduled maintenance”.

Perhaps rather than Comcast having a string of unbelievably coincidental bad luck, they just can’t perform system maintenance or updates without bringing down the house?

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45 thoughts on “Comcast Experiences Widespread Outage, Again, and Again, and Again

  1. Tom and others – if there is a link to updating router firmware that would be GREAT! this was never suggested when I called a bazillion times…but I’m willing to give it a try — sick of repeated outages….

  2. I have been a Comcast customer for over 4 years now. Outages are a rare occurance, so rare I can’t remember the last time we had one. You can not pay me to switch to another provider as I am extremely happy with comcast. They are constantly upgrading thier services, adn adding new features. Some of the problems I am reading about can be caused by your router if you are using one. I had an issue with a while back where my connection would keep dropping for no reason after 5 to 10 mins, then reconnect. After a weeks of talking to tech support, trouble shooting, and researching, I found an article by chance that somone else was having the same problems, I did the same thing they did, I upgraded the firmware on my router and walah, problem solved. It’s easy to blame a provider for problems, even when the problem isn’t thiers.

  3. I have been having the same problem with this horrible company. My cable and internet have been going out every night around 11pm and by 2am everything is completely out. I get no internet signal and no tv signal(on all 3 tv). Then around 8am it magically turns back on. I keep calling comcast and they keep telling me that there’s nothing wrong with the signal and suggest that there’s something wrong with my modem or cable box. They have scheduled a tech to check it out tomorrow. An outage every now and then for a brief time would not be a problem but this has been occurring every night like clockwork, and I take online classes for which i need internet access at those hours. Not to mention the outrageous prices we pay for the cable and internet to be on all the time but they shut it off on us every night. With all that money they should be able to hire someone who knows how to keep the services running reliably. I must conclude from my experiences that comcast sucks more than any other cable companyt we have had….

  4. My Comcast cable in area code 98335 Gig Harbor, WA has been shutting down almost like clock work. I have started keeping track of the dates. These shut downs have all been around 12:25am on June 1,3, and 8. June 3 lasted all night. Is anyone else having the same problem?

  5. Comcast cable went out again on Saturday, June 5,2010. Since I use Vonage for telephone. This meant that for three hours I had no television, no telephone, and no Internet. I tried six times to call the 1-800-COMCAST number, using my cell-phone, but was disconnected each time after my “account telephone number” was entered.

    TELCO doesn’t maintain telephone lines anymore in my town, so there is no DSL available. FIOS might be available in a few years. Therefore, there is no other way to get Internet service so I’m stuck. BTW, last year they physically disconnected my cable because my NEIGHBOR didn’t pay her bill! This is a BAD, BAD, BAD (actually worse) company.

  6. I just wanna say that i was out splicing cut fiber from 6pm to 12am last night and then on an outage from 1am to 4am making sure your internet worked .. sleep cosy and your welcome….

  7. Recently, in S Florida (Broward County) @ exactly midnight, the cable service is gone…nothing, not even local channels…for twenty (20) minutes or longer. Has happened every night for the past five (5). I even missed the end of the West Finals Game 2 in the hockey playoffs. Went to the website (we have DSL, thank GOD!) and just try and find something – you have to jump through hoops and even then, we can’t find out anything because the homeowners association has the account, not individual tenants. Forget the phone. Wait times are super long, customer service reps don’t know terminology, let alone have answers, and often as not cannot answer your questions because you aren’t “authorized” on the account. Finding service providers that care about their customers is fast becoming impossible.

  8. Comcast outage since 0115 19 May here in Jacksonville, Florida. Comcast network is up within itself but has lost connectivity outside of its own network. Outage still in progress – thank god I have Clearwire as a backup ISP.

  9. Up near Seattle, Washington for the past week after 9:30PM my usual fast internet takes a dump. during these times I check on pingtest (just google it) and my packet loss is 30%+. This is complete Waste of my time. Comcast needs to clean up their act and pick better times if they need to “upgrade” their stuff.

  10. Houston, TX

    No problems with internet or phone but TV service is a diffrernt story….Right in the middle of a movie all of a sudden the image freezes and then the creen goes blank. I check other HBO channels and they are all blank… It’s not only HBO its all my service, ESPN, The weather channel etc….only local channels are viewable. This happens about once or twice a week. Comcast is terrible.

  11. Down in Boston. Cable modem said that sw download via NMS then said reboot from software upgrade. This was followed by a SYNC failure and now…. nada. good thing for my iphone and MyWi

  12. We just recovered from a Comcast outage in Kitsap County, i.e. Bremerton, wa. 98312.. although Comcast seems unable to explain the total bundle outage, Locally, we know it was a structure fire which shut down/damaged Fiberoptic cables and forced a patch to recover.
    The answers are there. We just have to look for them.

  13. i just contacted comcast via the “online help live chat” regarding why my phone is making a steady busy signal, was told that there are widespread outages, i have the 3 bundle, and everything else is working fine. anyone else having these troubles, btw im in maryland

  14. Comcast is out AGAIN. Every day, about 9:00 a.m. the spotty internet coverage saga continues. A call to Comcast only results in frustration. Today, the heavily accented lady on the recording said “Vee know the service is out in your area and vee are twying to correct the problem.” Now, this “problem” has been occurring for the last 9 months — and you can’t figure the sh*t out yet? I do not know what to do to get good internet service. I don’t know what company to go with. I thought about one of those satellite cards that work anywhere. Comcast is simply unbearable. Why am I paying $54.99 for bad service?

  15. at #21, so how do you explain us having comcasts modem, comcasts services, AND an entire house recabled BY comcast, with a computer more than capable of supporting more than 5x the average computers capabilities, and still have interruptions in service every 3 days? It will go out for just long enough to interrupt connection, then boost back up. This wouldn’t be a problem for websites, but when you play online, its the most frustrating thing on earth (btw, only computer and only person online, so you can’t claim that it is bandwidth issues). Also, we have had 17 technicians out here in the passed 11 months, and every single one has said it is a different comcast issue, but none of them are ever resolved. The problem has also spread outwards from my neighborhood to the extent of about 5 miles in every direction for some houses with the same issues, and still, nothing fixed. This has been going on for approximately 1 year now.

  16. outages like the shotgunning of signal is choked off on a regular basis upgrade ? why cost more for what i use to get gfor 52.oo amonth now 70 a month new modem with more info going to who knows
    BS

  17. Hialeah, FL

    Comcast Cable down, for over 24 hours. I call, a recording outage in my area. Really? Thanks for letting me know. I did a live chat on comcast.com (didnt know that had it) Rep tells me they are currently working on the situation, and to not worry its being well taken care of. Really??? Its 5 AM. I dont see any comcast techs outside my building. I bet they are all home sleeping. Just needed to Vent. I pay for DVR, now I missed shows and my kid didnt get to see her noggin or sprout. Thank goodness for DVD players. I’m thinking of cancelling cable alltogether. At least the internets up. Which is odd :)

  18. Comcast is down again, this time its my whole state apparently, and the guy at 800-comcast said they probably won’t be back up until tomorrow morning. I think this is progress because at least they’re admitting the problem.

  19. Yep… It is down! At 3:20 PM EST here, and like the commenter above, it would be nice if Comcast told us a little bit about WHY it is down and WHEN they expect it to be back up again. Oh well….

  20. Indeed, Comcast email is down again. But they deserve credit for acknowledging it this time on comcast.net:
    “If you are having trouble logging into email, please try again later.”

    (Of course, it would be nice if they elaborated. Like maybe two sentences?)

  21. Comcast should only be allowed to advertise its phone service as a second phone because it truly is unreliable. In and out for 3 years now for me and Ive even had service calls. I do none of my own wiring, all comcast work.

  22. If you stop buying crap from radioshack and start letting the guys from comcast do the work, you wont have any problems. There are very minor outages that actually occur in an area. The majority of your so called “outages” are problems in your own home. Get your stories straight. They are by far the largest company out there so they have better deals, better training and support. Have fun with dish, DSL and dialup. I’ll be watching streaming videos and using my on demand while you’re drinking coffee waiting for a webpage to load, and frustrated because your tv isn’t working because of the rain :)

  23. Comcast seem to be at it again. More than one day email outage, now national. Hey, it’s May — right on schedule!

  24. Back in 2006, Comcast would be down for days at a time. This lasted for a period of about nine months. Unfortunately, there were NO other options (except dial-up). Anyone that believes Comcast is a good service is sadly mistaken.

  25. To Comcast– Fix your issues! Just look at the above post! Please…before Andy in TN goes on a three state killing spree!

    To Andy– OMG bro, put the rifle down Lee Harvey…

  26. I had problem with Comcast two years ago in Franklin, TN with the constant/continuous disconnection 10 minutes into the session. After hours or talking with few “only” assistants available at 1-800-COMCAST, I was finally assigned with a technitian two days later. He could not fix the connection freeze-up but yet recommanded that I just use the internet as it was, browsing the web sites for 5-10 minutes. Pause for a minute or two and continue on… I WAS SO OUTRAGED THAT I ALMOST THOUGHT OF GETTING MY RIFLE OUT AND SHOOTING HIM! Of course I quit COMCAST for good 16 months and moved on to local DSL. After hearing few good things about Comcast I changed my ISP to Comcast again few months ago. Just yesterday I am experiencing the same connection problem as two years ago. I have called 1-800-COMCAST in extreme frustration about 30 times until the assistant who obviously got tired of me made an appointment for tomarrow. I highly doubt that this technitian can do what another tech couldn’t do. I have different PC since two years ago with different modem, borrowed a friend’s PC with his modem and tried four different combinations of networking at my address; to no avail. I am wondering if Comcast is doing this on perpose to save up some packet on their servers. It maybe no big deal to people who use internet for sole web-browsing purpose. However, some people use internet to chat, download files bigger than 200MB, and play games online. Timed out lag spikes disconnect my cable connection every 5-12 minutes on all of above cases. I have went to many forums to find out if there are people out there who had same/similar problem with their connections, and -WOW- I found out in each and every State in US that Comcast offers their service, there are at least a person in every major city that has the very same connection problem I am going through. Some people have copy/pasted the connection activity log and posted on forums and I found out our problems all matched with drop outs called “Time out [Count #]”. I was assured of their stupidity when the operator on 1-800-COMCAST did not understand the issue. I even asked if she knew what Packet-Loss is and she told me that she would not have any knowledge out of Comcast Internet Service area. Thinking about all the lack of service + colliding with customer + absolutely helpless operators = No More Comcast for Me. I will make sure I influence and and all of the humanity out there to quit COMCAST if it is what they are using. I have just now gotten a warning from my family physician that my blood pressure has risen above maximum normal unit and asked me what caused me such a rise in Blood pressure…

    In my Humble Opinion, Comcast is no better than AOL. And soon people will realize their folly for trusting or even liking their service. I am going to take a vacation after that tech guy comes to my house. Either he/she fixes the connection freeze or not I’ve had with Comcast, and now await for another company who is more friendly to customers with dissatisfaction. COMCAST has a lot to learn about business. ’nuff said.

  27. We loose our comcast internet once or twice a month. The techs who come are actually embarrased as they can’t figure out why we keep loosing it. Right now my home internet is down (I’m at work), they say it will be 5 days before a tech can come to check it. Before it went down totally and running very slow I spoke to phone support. When he pinged my modem he said (this is a quote) “Oh you’re ONLY experiencing 30% packet loss”. I guess packet loss must be above 50% to be a problem.

  28. In response to #10 & #14: Check your “Automatic Update” settings – there may be a chance (since windows “Automatic Updates” defaults to 3:00AM) that your bandwidth is getting eaten by these downloads. Try “Tracert Yahoo.com” in a “Command Prompt” box, and see if you go anywhere during that time. After that, try a “Ping Yahoo.com”, and see if you get a response. If you can tracert, DNS is OK – if you can ping, your internet is OK. Try doing a Cable Modem speed test if both of those are OK.

  29. In response to #10. I have had that happen numerous times when i have called Comcast during an outage, and within minutes of hanging up it miraculously comes back up. Coincidence? im beginning to think not

  30. Comcast Internet Service is the worst. I have hours when it is offline on at least a 3 day a month basis. And when it does work it is spotty, having everyday a few hours where it is on and off one second to the next

  31. My Comcast connection at Blue Springs, MO was up for a couple months. No problem. I am an IT savy person. Lately is works for 15 minutes, then dies for a minute, and starts working again. It is very frustrationg when you are remoting into work. I also have Vonage. So when it goes down it kills my phone service.

  32. My email went down today- there was a little message by the Inbox that said We are currently unable to retrieve your latest email messages. Please check back soon.

    I called to find out what the story was- and of course got the usual story- there is an outage in the area. Of couse Franca coulldn’t tell me when it would be resolved- the skepticism im my voice may have caused her to add the following: It’s a nationwide outage! Funny, I could find nothing about it on any of the news stations. Does anyone know why therc is no government entity that regulates the internet?

  33. My comcast internet has been going down recently at exactly 3:13am Pacific Time and is down for 1-2 hours each time. This has been going on for 2 weeks. A major outage just occured in the California area, they fixed it in an hour. My 3:13 outage still occurs the next night. I call comcast and they said they didnt know what my problem was and suggested a technician be sent out, I agree and schedule a tech and hang up. As soon as I hang up my internet comes back, this was just after 15 minutes of outage. Im usually down for 1-2 hours every time before. I call back and the next comcast tech rep could not explain, I cancelled the tech call and will see if my problem is mysteriously solved, I think it will be. Anyone else have this happen?

  34. Comcast—when you finally reach them by phone they say well how do you know that nothing is posted on our website if your connection is down? I had to explain to them that it’s possible to use a dial-up ISP like AOL and still connect to the internet, even though Comcast clearly couldn’t care less if they’re connected or not. Essentially, when you call up Comcast to tell them they’re down AGAIN, they call you a liar. Hey it works for the government, right?

  35. Comcast has been down again for hours now and as usual, there’s no information posted on their website. It’s not once a year, it’s once a month. On average. Some months it’s three or four days. But since they’re effectively a monopoly they have no real incentive to 1) improve service or 2) be accountable to their customers.

  36. I called them last night and they said it was due to someone having cut their cable line in Kent, WA, but that it would be back up any second. It still was not up this morning. I’ve tried Qwest DSL before, and their outages lasted for days at a time. It is disappointing to see this problem with Comcast now also. I wasn’t aware of typing in IP addresses, though as a workaround, I’ll try that tonight.

  37. I finally got through to them last night and they told me that “weather” in south Florida was the fault. Last night was the third long outage in seven days in this area.

  38. Comcast is out AGAIN… I tried calling 1800-comcast and it was busy for the first 10 minutes I tried getting through. It seems to be a DNS issue, because I can access stuff by the ip. When it doesn’t work, it fails at the dns lookup. It either works or fails there…

  39. Call and get a refund for the time you were out. A few thousand customers requesting a refund ought to teach them how to do maintenance. Sounds like an IT dept that I worked near. Hmm some thing wrong? lets reboot everything and see if that fixes it.

  40. I have had Comcast Cable and it was reliable and fast. I have also had SBC DSL and it was OK, but Comcast is better. SBC uses PPPOE which is the worst form of DSL. I now have Speakeasy.net DSL (DHCP aka always on) and it is excellent. I have had minor outages with both Comcast & SBC. Speakeasy has never suffered an outage after 2 years, although I had minor speed issues which were quickly resoved.

  41. We have DSL/SBC at work and knock on wood it has been stable for a few months but before that we lost it about once a month, for usually less than six hours but we are very depebdebt so any internet shutdowns hurt. At home we have comcast and I must say it’s been faster and more reliable. Once a year shutdowns followed by emails that assure us increased download and upload speeds are OK by me.

  42. I have been a Comcast customer for about 4 years, and an outage once a year is nothing to complain about, in my opinion.
    I own my own computer support business, and I have the opportunity to experience many DSL customers frustrations first hand. The main DSL subscriber around here is SBC, and from what I’ve seen, I would never suggest that anyone choose their services over Comcast’s.

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