WASHINGTON, D.C. — Routine network maintenance at American telecommunications company Time Warner Cable (TWC) caused widespread internet outages in the United States overnight, but most issues were resolved before the business day began, the company said on Wednesday.
The problems began at about 4:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) when a fault occurred during routine network maintenance, said Time Warner Cable spokesman Eric Mangan. "An issue with our Internet backbone created a disruption with our Internet and On Demand services," he said.
Mangan said the outage affected customers across all of the company's markets, impacting more than 11.4 million high-speed internet customers in 29 states, making it one of the worst internet outages in the United States in recent years. The outage was resolved for most customers by 6 a.m. EDT and fully restored by 10:30 a.m. EDT.
"We're still researching the root cause of the outage which took place during a maintenance window overnight," said the spokesman for the company, which has its headquarters in New York City and is being acquired by rival cable company Comcast.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he directed the New York State Department of Public Service to investigate Wednesday's outage as part of its review of Comcast's merger with Time Warner Cable. He said the outage is "a stark reminder" that the U.S. economy is "increasingly dependent" on a reliable broadband network.
"Dependable internet service is a vital link in our daily lives and telecommunications companies have a responsibility to deliver reliable service to their customers," Cuomo said.
The governor said the New York State Department of Public Service will also review whether the outage affected Time Warner Cable's provision of telephone service in any way. "In addition, the Department will include its analysis of this event in its ongoing study of the telecom industry, which is exploring potential changes to the regulatory landscape pertaining to telephone, internet and cable," he explained.