Cable Tech

Level 3 Hiccup Briefly Knocks Out Some ISPs

Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT) suffered network outages this morning traced to a router glitch that apparently knocked out some broadband ISPs, including Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), temporarily.

Word of the outages spread like wildfire on Twitter, with the MSO itself tweeting this morning that it was "recovering from a large but brief internet outage affecting most of our service areas." Most users reported being out for about 10 minutes. An MSO spokesman confirmed that services have since been restored.

But the MSO apparently wasn't alone as the outages reached across parts of North America and Europe. "Shortly after 9 a.m. ET today, our network experienced temporary service interruptions across North America and Europe apparently due to a router manufacturer software issue," Level 3 said, in a statement. "It has been reported that a similar issue may have affected other carriers as well. Our technicians worked quickly to address the issue and service is now fully restored."

Level 3 also didn't identify the culprit, but Juniper Networks Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) all but confirmed a report that the brief outages could be traced to routers running the Junos 10.2 and 10.3 operating system that had to be restarted when they had trouble performing a Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) update.

"This morning, Juniper learned of a Border Gateway Protocol edge router issue that affected a small percentage of customers. A software fix is available, and we've been working with our customers to immediately deploy the fix," Mark Bahaus, Juniper's EVP, services, support and operations, said in a statement.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

mrtugs 12/5/2012 | 4:49:30 PM
re: Level 3 Hiccup Briefly Knocks Out Some ISPs To be fair, according to the bug notes, patched software for this bug has been available since mid-August. I wonder if the notification was sent with an indication of severity sufficient to stir recipients into action? It supposedly takes an extremely unlikely set of conditions to trigger it; perhaps not so unlikely after all...
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