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Summary:

If you’re one of CenturyLink’s 5.8 million broadband subscribers, you’re probably fuming because your service is out. Such nationwide outages are rare, but that doesn’t make it any less painful for customers.

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CenturyLink, the nation’s third largest telco network is experiencing an outage of its broadband service nationwide, leaving its support systems overwhelmed and even causing its website to hit a few snags this morning. The company, which at last count has 5.8 million broadband subscribers, has no estimates yet on how long it will take to restore service.

A spokeswoman confirmed the outage, but had few details:

“We are currently experiencing a disruption with our Internet service. We are working with our vendors to restore service as soon as possible and apologize for any inconvenience this has caused our customers. We will continue to work towards resolution until all issues are resolved.”

Earlier this year in January, AT&T experienced a substantial service outage affecting thousands of its customers, and lasting for a few days. The culprit in that outage was a software update that affected some, but not all of AT&T’s 7.4 million U-verse subscribers.

While power outages, fiber cuts and even software updates can take out a subscriber’s broadband for a bit, nationwide outages are rare. Maybe tomorrow on its earnings call, CenturyLink will explain what happened to cause this one. Meanwhile, a mobile hotspot or event a project like the recently launched BRCK, would come in handy right now for CenturyLink’s subscribers.

Updated 12:20pm: A CenturyLink representative said all service has been restored as of around midday Pacific Time.

Updated at 1:20 pm: CenturyLink said it has identified the cause of the outage as a problem with its core routers, but is investigating the problem further.

  1. Great timing for ran outage…just before a quarterly conference call. The hubris shown by CenturyTel might be in for a bit of humble pie here.

    This outage is widespread and if no one asks about it during the call, or if it is not saliently addressed, then the Street is not doing its job and that puts them directly in with CentLink which of late has let quality take a back seat.

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    1. I have CenturyLink and live in North Carolina. I have not lost service today. Maybe its not affecting all customers.

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      1. Sounds like you are lucky. CenturyLink is saying it’s nationwide, but that doesn’t mean some didn’t escape whatever issue has caused this. As of 11PT it seems that some people are reporting that they are back online.

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        1. It was out for several hours. Most CTL phone support lines did not work. For several hours it was like CTL had disappeared from the planet. Problems in the “core routers…blah, blah, blah….Fundamentally CTL seems to be running a network where a single point of failure can bring the whole mess down. And here I thought TCP/IP was designed to survive nuclear war…Local CTL troops are hard working and want to support their customers. Corporate is really bad. They only survive by lurking in monopoly markets.

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  2. For an outage of this size, I would suspect outside influences like DDOS.

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  3. Derrick Harris Tuesday, May 7, 2013

    A quick update from Las Vegas: I have working CenturyLink internet again. No idea if service has been restored elsewhere, but we’ll update as we find out more.

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    1. Provide traceroutes to something like google.

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  4. Eve Eriksson Tuesday, May 7, 2013

    DLS, and television were also down in my area.

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  5. Kraig Beahn Tuesday, May 7, 2013

    FierceTelecom – “CenturyLink suffers Internet outage in 21 states”

    This issue started at 4AM 5/7/2013 and lasted until just a few moments ago, at least in the Tallahassee/North Florida region. The outage took out a good bit of their national network, not just the local region.

    Article – http://www.fiercetelecom.com/story/centurylink-wades-through-nationwide-internet-outage-customers-21-states-af/2013-05-07

    Video – http://cdn.l2net.com/content/video/CTLFL-Outage-BGP-05072013.mp4

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  6. NineFiveGuy Tuesday, May 7, 2013

    Did we say five nines? We meant nine fives.

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  7. No outage in Minneapolis.

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  8. Kraig Beahn Tuesday, May 7, 2013

    CenturyLink’s Nationwide Outage is perceived to be as a result of and as reported by CenturyLink: “Outage Description: CenturyLink technicians have resolved a software issue in the listed market and all customers should now be back in service.”

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  9. Portland, OR, and this is the first I’ve heard of an outage. Been working on a CenturyTel connection all day.

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  10. It seems like every companies’ services has these big outages. :(

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    1. Aimon Bustardo Friday, June 14, 2013

      Garbage in, Garbage Out. An infrastructure is as only as good as its technicians.

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