Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sunday's Comcast internet outage

Sunday night as I settled in to watch the Chargers beat the Colts, I booted up my home computer to do some stuff online and was stunned to be met by an error message saying that my internet service was inoperable. I did the usual drill of unplugging the modem, waiting a few minutes, and then plugging it in again. All the lights came back on showing green, but still no internet. I then pulled out a recent Comcast bill - that's my internet service provider - and tried a couple of the 1-800 phone numbers. Any time I call a company's help desk, I'm prepared for a long wait, but Sunday night all I got was busy signals. Very frustrating.

Reaching for my cell phone, I decided to post mildly critical complaints about Comcast's lack of customer service on both Facebook and Twitter. As soon as I got to Twitter, however, I immediately noticed a steady stream of Tweets from Comcast users up and down the East Coast sharing their stories of internet-less woe. I immediately felt better, relieved the problem was "not at my end." Twitter's value also rose in my estimation. In times of breaking news, it once again showed it's the place for the latest and best information.

Comcast's problem was a failure of its DNS servers. An article on boston.com from yesterday does a good job of explaining what that means, so I leave you the link in case you want to read more.

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