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Summary:

If you are the leading broadband company in the planet – nearly 7 million customers – then it doesn’t look good when you say we don’t know what is the real reason why there has been an outage in your broadband network. Excuse me… what kind […]

If you are the leading broadband company in the planet – nearly 7 million customers – then it doesn’t look good when you say we don’t know what is the real reason why there has been an outage in your broadband network. Excuse me… what kind of a shop are you running? Philly.com reports Comcast spokeswoman as saying “We want our customers to know we are making every effort under the sun to address these issues.”

Though they don’t know exactly what the problem is, they know where it is, Comcast said: in a collection of computer hardware and software that directs Web surfers to their desired location. That system – called a domain name server – exists in two locations: Philadelphia and Denver.

The system was conked out for between three to six hours last Thursday night, and earlier on Tuesday. GigaOM readers are reporting more outages even now. “The very least we can do is withhold their outrageously high daily rates until they fix the problem and/or learn to shape up in the area of customer service,'” David W. Zuckerman, a research coordinator for an educational group in Baltimore, wrote in an e-mail to Associated Press.

By Om Malik

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  1. must be skype induced.

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  2. How is it possible that a) they have just two locations for DNS servers; b) they can’t just reroute IP addresses to new DNS servers that work; c) they are this clueless? I was just explaining this outage to my wife and said if half the country were destroyed by a bomb, DNS would still probably work in the other half without a glitch. As far as I know, this hasn’t happened.

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  3. yeah… the funny thing is the media is not calling them on it. i have a better idea and am working on a biggish piece and should be able to finish it tomorrow – just surprised by it all.

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  4. I don’t understand the technology behind my broadband connection very well, but I have to say that at least they are honest about the situation.

    Here in Australia the largest ISP is Telstra, and they never admit there is even a problem most of the time. That is truly frustrating!

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  5. I have Comcast, and I haven’t had a blip of a problem whatsoever lately, and it occurs to me that I haven’t been using Comcast’s DNS servers for ages.

    They’ve had DNS issues in the past, this is not the first time. I’ve had pointed my router box at the DNS servers at my work this whole time and thought everyone else was insane.

    Thanks for reminding me :)

    Yes, Comcast is completely clueless. I don’t know if Verizon FIOS is any better, but that’s supposed to be activated sometime this year in these parts. The fiber is on the poles running by my house already…

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  6. When I was a Comcast customer, they had DNS issues continuously. When I was doing work in transferring web content to a new server, I discovered that their DNS was very slow to update to changes that the rest of the Internet picked up very quickly. When I started using another DNS, then use of Comcast became pretty pleasant. Dealing with their billing is an exercise is frustration, though.

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  7. Sam Abuelsamid Friday, April 15, 2005

    I called comcast yesterday to complain, and threatened to switch to DSL. The rep transferred to someone else who gave me credit on my current bill for the outages, reduced my monthly rate to $35 and then gave me a real shock. Unprompted by me, she informed that “Comcast is not a monopoly”. After trying to explain to her what the definition of monopoly is, I have spent hours scouring my yellow pages for another cable tv provider that will service my area but have so far been unsuccesful. If anyone knows a cable provider in the Ann Arbor, MI area besides comcast, please let me know so I can switch.

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  8. Sunil Chhaya Friday, April 15, 2005

    I just wanted people to know that it’s noon on Friday the 15th and I’m still having a glitchy comcast connection. It has been off every evening for the last week, and this is a real annoyance. Once you start taking broadband for granted, you start relying on it for a whole number of things.

    Someone said they use a different DNS server – how does one go about doing that?

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  9. Gary Lerhaupt Friday, April 15, 2005

    i’ve quickly become a frustrated comcast customer. they’re probably getting hacked and don’t want to admit it.

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  10. Hey Sam, I bet Ann Arbor is well served by DirecTV… and you can probably get DSL from your telco for your IP.

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