Saturday, April 5, 2008

Comcast Web Outage in PA

I've been without access to most of the web via my Comcast broadband service for about 5 hours now. This is an extra pain this weekend, because I need to log in to my work VPN to do some system maintenance, and I can't get there from here.

My wife, who never likes being without the web, called in to Comcast, and after an excruciating 40 minutes listening to the 20-second hold music loop, got a tech rep who said that the AT&T backbone is down for all of Pennsylvania. It does seem like a backbone problem, since I am able to get out to a few sites including Blogger, but even my Comcast mail host is inaccessible.

There is a two day old story link on Google News about upgrades being made by AT&T and Comcast -- apparently in preparation for Comcast's new super premium 50 Mbps service --causing outages, but I can't actually retrieve the article. All in all, I'm not thrilled if such a long outage has been caused in order to make way for a service that certainly won't be available in my area - even if I was willing and able to foot the $150 per month tab. It is especially annoying since a weekend morning may be a good time to interrupt business service, but it is prime time for residential service, and an outage this long and far reaching, without any news, has at least a strong odor of a planned interruption.

One thing's for sure, the role of connectivity in my life has changed enough in recent years, that I no longer find it acceptible to be knocked off the grid for hours at a time. I'm sure that Comcast will get things put back together eventually. I wonder, when they do, if they'll find that many of their plain old 8Mbps service customers have also decided to light out for a more stable provider. If such outages become too regular of an occurrence, I should think they will.

Edited 8:16 AM April 6, 2008 for typos.

1 comment:

matt said...

Update: Apparently dislike for being without internet access, is an issue that bridges the political aisle. I finally found a link to another blog talking about this, and it is a right wing blog. Of course, I can't pull down the link, so I'm only assuming that this poster is ticked off, too. Maybe he or she is congratulating Comcast for prioritizing prospective high value customers over service to the masses (presuming that is even the case, here.)