Last week there was a massive internet outage with Comcast (my internet provider). Users complained about it here. The typical rants that are (sadly) true: All major ISPs over-subscribe their networks, the support personnel are clueless, etc. Well, yesterday the same thing occured again.

I noticed Tuesday morning before going to work that I was experiencing an outage and when I got home, the same problem was there: no internet. I tried calling Comcast in the evening and got a busy signal several times. I then waded through their 6-levels-deep automated phone menus (aka "barriers") to find that "There are no known outages" and then "Due to the high volume of calls we are experiencing, we are unable to answer your call at this time". I finally tried going down one of the lesser used phone menu paths and got an actual live person to tell me that their entire internet service is down. Of course I got them to credit my account yet again, but I asked why it hadn't been updated in their phone system that there was a massive outage and she said "We have only discovered it now". Rrrrright. And you're also hoping that people will just get fed up with the lack of information from your phone system and give up (so you won't have to credit them).

What scammers. It seems to me that when a company gets too big that it can't please the majority of its customers or react quickly when there is a problem they shouldn't be in business anymore. Comcast's network has been VERY poor lately. I experience some type of outage every night for at least 10-15 minutes (they must reset their servers or something). A few weeks ago I was experiencing problems getting through and they sent somebody out to replace my modem, then blamed my router.

While I'm going to start looking at alternatives, I don't have much hope that I will be able to find anything that will match the current price. And maybe that's the problem.

§81 · April 13, 2005 · Life, Technology · · [Print]

9 Comments to “Comcast Outage Yet Again”

  1. Rob says:

    While I will take this oppurtunity to plug my ISP TekSavvy in Windsor, that won’t help you any. I always get through to one of the handful of people that actually work there on the couple times that I’ve called.

    Some people here have wow (Wide Open Web, I think) and they’re happy. Again, I don’t know how big a company they are either.

  2. Jeff Schiller says:

    Ironically, yesterday I got a WOW! Cable flyer in our mailbox. I’ve got numerous offers from them, but up until now just stayed with Comcast. WOW!offer 75 channels of Basic Cable, High-Speed Internet (500kbps) and Telephone for $80 a month. That’s a great deal but my fear is that the underlying cable will still be owned by Comcast and WOW! will just be the people I deal with. In this case, I’ll just be adding another layer of headaches. I’m going to call WOW! today and find out.

  3. Kent says:

    I too have been experiencing an outage at exactly 3:13am Pacific Time every night for the past two weeks. After the last big outage on Tuesday this week I thought they fixed everything. NO! 3:13 comes again and down it goes on schedule. This time I had comcast’s phone number on hand, I called them, they were as you say clueless, suggest I have a technician come out to investigate, i agree, hang up. AS SOON AS I HANG UP WITH THEM MY INTERENT IS BACK, THE VERY MINUTE I HANG UP. My interent is usually down for 1-2 hours each night. This time it came back after 15 miuntes, I know it could be a coincidence, but I really think something else is going on, and thier phone staff either know it and wont say or someone on her end reacted to my call and turned me back on and stopped using it for thier own purposes. Its late night, they think thier customers in Fresno are fast asleep and wont notice being shut down for up to 2 hours, from 3:13am to 5:13am roughly.

    What do you think?

  4. Jeff says:

    My suspicion is that they routinely (i.e. nightly) reset their DNS servers to prevent possible hackage of their domain tables or something because it is only the Web that is inaccessible to me, my Instant Messaging still continues to work. Note that this is just unfounded suspicion and not based on any facts.

  5. WILLIAM says:

    tonight, april 19th … wait no ALL DAY april 19th, we experienced outage with comcast cable and phone service. Calling comcast and they said it’s an outage (i assume like the one that has been plaquing them the last week or two). Folks if you use COMCAST and exerpience any outages what so ever call them up talk to a live rep. They will or are wiling to give you a day credit (in this case we were able to get 3 day credit on our entire package.

    So basicly our probs are …. talking on the phone is like having a one way conversation (we can’t talk to our friends) which lasts for about 10 seconds and recycles in about every 1min or so. Same with the cable…. i play an online game, it repsonds to me but i can’t respond to it.

    Comcast said that it should be fixed no later then 6am April 20th.

    ALso at times our modem will totally recycle down and back up… when this happens all service is usually down for about 10 mins or so.

  6. Ree says:

    This is a little too much of a “coincidence” to me.

    Every day for the past month our Comcast goes down at 11am for a short time…approx 15 min to a half hour.

    Whenever I’ve called them, they say the same thing. They want a service rep to come out to check our inside connections and etc…

    Well, I’ve had the service rep out a few times (last year when it was happening, for about a month) and the service reps all said the same thing, they’d have to fill out an order for a line guy to come out because it’s in the outside lines. Hummmm?

    So, recently when this started again, I called them and the support tech, once again, wanted to send out a service tech.

    When I said I’ve been all through that and I just want to know why my internet goes down at the “same time every day”…he went on the say how our home connections were faulty…once again…grrrrrr!

    If someone here knows about cable and how it all works, can you please explain to me how the Internet can go down at the “same time” everyday? And, please splain it to me like I’m 6, cause I can’t wrap my brain around that one.

    I know a tad about electricity and a wee bit about cable and wiring….and I cannot for the life of me see how it can “know” exactly what time to go down every day.

    Could it be Comcast is saving server bandwidth or something?
    I am on the computer every day for hours and hours and I do a lot of “uploading” and limited downloading ….but, not so much that I would think it’d be an issue. But is it? If not, then what could it be…
    I can’t get a straight answer from Comcast.

    Thanks in advance!

    P.S. The support is really, really bad where I call (Canada or where ever) I even had a service rep hang up on me and honestly, I wasn’t even being harsh with them or gave them any reason to, except ask to speak with a supervisor (I was going to ask for a credit) I called back to talk with their sup, only to end up waiting (on hold) for over a half hour. I reported the tech, but I doubt that anything happened to them…and I never got a credit

  7. Matt says:

    Wow, just wow, i am getting the same exact issue, it’s been going on since august 18th, today is november the 20th. I am getting poor upstream, and perfect downstream, loosing rapid packets, had 5 technicians over, rewiering team and a maintnance guy to look the thing up, still having issues, and the best thing is, even tho i didn’t have my service for 31 days now, they dont want to credit me for all of those days nor give me something as a compensation. If wide open west would be available i woul’d switch within a heartbeat.

  8. Sorry to hear that you’re having so much trouble, Matt. Have you tried a different router in your LAN?

    In fairness to Comcast, my service has been very good in the last year or more – I really don’t have any complaints. I’m in the Chicago area and I’m sure your mileage may vary…

  9. John says:


    Stop harassing phone reps and read the instructions on your wireless router. They typically run on the same or similar frequencies to cordless phones. You can have two computers on the same wireless because 802.11A/B/G was designed to play nice between all devices. Cordless phones were not designed to do this.

    If you read the manual or look it up on the web you can find out how to change the frequency on your router. Then turn on your phone in between the router and the computer and if it stays working you are probably good. Adjust channels as needed.