& cplSiteName &

Charter Internet Outages Blamed on DNS Problems

Mari Silbey
8/26/2014
50%
50%

At a time when broadband is replacing video as cable's core service, Charter Communications suffered major Internet outages in several markets throughout the US over the weekend, based on what appears to have been a domain name server issue.

There were more than 8,000 reports of Charter Communications Inc. Internet failures on Saturday on the website Downdetector, with more customers posting outage stories through additional online forums including Reddit and DSLReports. There has been speculation that the problem may have resulted from a distributed denial-of-service attack. Network World reported that a subscriber in North Carolina claimed that a Charter customer service representative confirmed that the company's DNS servers were hacked. Charter has not yet responded to a Light Reading request for comment.

Whether or not the outages were the result of an attack, many customers were able to restore Internet access by changing DNS settings and connecting to a domain name server not maintained by Charter. Google Public DNS was a popular choice, while OpenDNS was cited as another alternative.

The Internet outage was half the problem for Charter, but the other half was its customer service management. Many customers complained that they could only get a busy signal when trying to call customer support. Plus, while Charter filled up its Twitter stream with commentary on the Emmy awards, there was no statement posted about the Internet issues until Sunday evening. At that time, Charter posted the following on Facebook and Twitter.

"Our teams report services have been restored following an Internet outage that affected multiple markets across our operating area on Saturday, August 23. Our technical teams are monitoring the network closely and continue to investigate the cause of the issue. Thank you for your patience. If you continue to experience issues, please call our 24/7 support team at 888-438-2427."


Get the latest updates on Internet outages and other broadband issues by visiting Light Reading's broadband services content channel.


Charter's unfortunate outage is magnified at a time when cable operators are being hammered in the press for poor customer service. The Verge recently published a multi-part series of stories based on interviews with more than 150 present and former Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) employees. One big takeaway from that series was that Comcast's organizational structure and sales policies make it difficult for the MSO to improve service performance. That conclusion is a serious indictment when Comcast is proposing to expand and complicate its management system even further through its proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC). (See Comcast's TWC Coup: 3 Things to Know.)

At the same time, Charter is also planning to take on several new cable markets when Comcast divests itself of customers and swaps markets with Charter in a follow-on agreement to the Time Warner Cable acquisition. (See Comcast to Send Subs to Charter if TWC Deal Closes.)

Making the timing of Charter's outage even worse is the fact that Internet service is arguably becoming more important for the cable industry than traditional TV offerings. For the first time in the industry's 65-year history, the number of cable broadband subscribers now exceeds the number of cable video subscribers in the US. (See For Cable, Broadband Is the New Video.)

Separately, Charter announced on Monday that it is doubling Internet speeds in southern California, along with adding more HD video channels, and other advanced video and voice features. In a press release announcing the news, Charter President and CEO Tom Rutledge said the MSO "is committed to improving the customer experience. That starts by providing the best voice, TV and Internet services possible at the greatest value to our customers."

But, given the weekend problems, many Charter Internet customers might be a bit skeptical about that right now.

— Mari Silbey, special to Light Reading

(12)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
AllKindsOfThings
50%
50%
AllKindsOfThings,
User Rank: Light Beer
2/4/2015 | 4:48:41 PM
Re: Outed
Were you yourself typing this up, and if yes (or you are real close to matters here)  did you intend to say someone was typing up an RFP to replace Nominums DNS suite or did you inted to say that an RFP was typed up for Nominum to go, rip and replace the existing setup by their suite of stuff??

I would like to understand this since at least three organisations I am working with use Nominums stuff on a larger scale. 
sowen557
100%
0%
sowen557,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/27/2014 | 3:10:25 PM
Re: Outed
Nominum rip&replace RFP being typed up right now.
Atlantis-dude
100%
0%
Atlantis-dude,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/27/2014 | 2:37:59 PM
Re: Outed
Can they respond to the outage by re-directing to another DNS such as OpenDNS
kq4ym
100%
0%
kq4ym,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/27/2014 | 9:33:59 AM
Re: Outed
It's amazing that providers have yet to figure out how to respond to customers when service problems arise. One would think that the PR departments would have pre-planned just how to react to large outages like the recent DNS problems.
mendyk
50%
50%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/27/2014 | 9:28:17 AM
Re: Time Warner Cable OUT
Other reports suggest an outage of at least 90 minutes -- which would have been huge in the era of five-nines reliability. Now, maybe, not so much, although it does make me wonder about how something like this would affect the coming IoT world we are starting to create.
msilbey
50%
50%
msilbey,
User Rank: Blogger
8/27/2014 | 9:22:13 AM
Re: Time Warner Cable OUT
Yes, I'm following that. It appears to be largely resolved, but I've asked for comment.
mendyk
100%
0%
mendyk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/27/2014 | 8:08:52 AM
Time Warner Cable OUT
Reports this morning of a major nationwide service outage at Time Warner Cable.
Atlantis-dude
50%
50%
Atlantis-dude,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/26/2014 | 2:10:47 PM
DNS
Does Charter run their own service or do they oursource to a third party?
jabailo
50%
50%
jabailo,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/26/2014 | 1:18:24 PM
Re: Outed
I've been with at least two ISPs in the past where their DNS servers went offline, changed addresses, and there were outtages and resulting in my having to do a manual change, or restart to grab the dynamic DNS IP.  
thebulk
100%
0%
thebulk,
User Rank: Light Sabre
8/26/2014 | 12:41:39 PM
all possible
I think these are all possible, and even if a customer service rep did say the servers were hacked I would not put much faith in that. A lot of misinformation gets thrown around in call centers. 
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
From The Founder
NFV's promises of automation and virtualization are intriguing, but what really excites service providers is the massive amount of money they could save.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Documentaries
Three Gets Smart(y), BT Invokes Twitter – The Recap

8|21|17   |     |   (0) comments


From Telecoms.com, a recap of the week's telecoms talking points. It's been a week of gimmicks as Three tests out a pay-as-you-go sub-brand called Smarty; Comcast
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
VMWare VP Brings Women Up With Her

8|16|17   |   6:49   |   (1) comment


It's an art and a science to make mentorship, inclusive leadership, diversity and promotion of high-potential women work, says Honore' LaBourdette, vice president of Global Market Development at VMWare.
LRTV Documentaries
5G Spectrum Wars – The Recap

8|15|17   |   2:22   |   (0) comments


Service provider 3 has filed a lawsuit against Ofcom over 5G spectrum auction in the UK.
LRTV Custom TV
Say What? Facebook Unleashes AI Anarchy – The Recap

8|7|17   |     |   (0) comments


A recap of the week's talking points on Light Reading's sister site, telecoms.com. Facebook AI programmers had a bit of a brain-fade as they allowed one of its AI applications to invent its ...
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Fujitsu's Women Band Together to Help Girls Do STEM

8|2|17   |   9:35   |   (1) comment


Supporting women both inside and outside of Fujitsu is a top priority of the telecom vendor. Yanbing Li, Fujitsu Network Communication's director of System Software Development & Delivery, shares why it's important, but why there's still a long road ahead.
LRTV Custom TV
If You're Not First, You're Last – The Recap

7|31|17   |   08:18   |   (1) comment


In case you missed it, Amazon's 1% stock increase helped Jeff Bezos dethrone Bill Gates as the richest man in the world. Also, Taiwanese electronics manufacturer
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
AT&T's Tech President Preps Workforce for the Future

7|26|17   |   5:47   |   (10) comments


AT&T is focused on the software-defined network of the future and is reskilling its workforce to get ready too, according to AT&T's President of Technology Development Melissa Arnoldi.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Cisco: Mentoring Critical to Attract & Retain Women

7|19|17   |   6:40   |   (1) comment


Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Computing System Product Group, shares why mentoring in all its forms is important for women and what Cisco is doing that's made a difference for women in tech.
LRTV Custom TV
Gigabit LTE With Snapdragon 835

7|12|17   |     |   (1) comment


At an event in Wembley stadium, EE used its live network to demonstrate gigabit LTE using a Sony Xperia XZ Premium smartphone with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 chip.
LRTV Custom TV
Implementing Machine Intelligence With Guavus

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


Guavus unites big data and machine intelligence, enabling many of the the largest service providers in the world to save money and drive measureable revenue. Learn how applying Machine Intelligence substantially reduces operational costs and in many cases can eliminate subscriber impact, meaning a better subscriber experience and higher NPS.
LRTV Custom TV
Unlocking Customer Experience Insights With Machine Intelligence

7|12|17   |     |   (0) comments


When used to analyze operational data and to drive operational decisions, machine intelligence reduces the number of tasks which require human intervention. Guavus invested in Machine Intelligence early. Learn about the difference between Machine Learning and Machine Intelligence.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Verizon VP Talks Network, Career Planning

7|12|17   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Heidi Hemmer, vice president of Technology, Strategy & Planning at Verizon, shares how bold bets and the future of tech define her career.
Upcoming Live Events
September 28, 2017, Denver, CO
October 18, 2017, Colorado Convention Center - Denver, CO
November 1, 2017, The Royal Garden Hotel
November 1, 2017, The Montcalm Marble Arch
November 2, 2017, 8 Northumberland Avenue, London, UK
November 30, 2017, The Westin Times Square
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Intel CEO Leaves Trump Biz Advisory Board
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/15/2017
WiCipedia: Dolly Babes, Manifesto Backlash & 'Brotastic' Failures
Eryn Leavens, Special Features & Copy Editor, 8/18/2017
T-Mobile Turns On First 600MHz 4G Sites
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/16/2017
1.4B 5G Connections by 2025? Analysts Say Yes
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 8/16/2017
Eurobites: KPN Buys Into Healthcare Sector
Paul Rainford, Assistant Editor, Europe, 8/16/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Animals with Phones
Talk About a Custom-Made Workstation! Click Here
Proper ergonomics indeed.
Live Digital Audio

Understanding the full experience of women in technology requires starting at the collegiate level (or sooner) and studying the technologies women are involved with, company cultures they're part of and personal experiences of individuals.

During this WiC radio show, we will talk with Nicole Engelbert, the director of Research & Analysis for Ovum Technology and a 23-year telecom industry veteran, about her experiences and perspectives on women in tech. Engelbert covers infrastructure, applications and industries for Ovum, but she is also involved in the research firm's higher education team and has helped colleges and universities globally leverage technology as a strategy for improving recruitment, retention and graduation performance.

She will share her unique insight into the collegiate level, where women pursuing engineering and STEM-related degrees is dwindling. Engelbert will also reveal new, original Ovum research on the topics of artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, security and augmented reality, as well as discuss what each of those technologies might mean for women in our field. As always, we'll also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air and chat board.