Updated: Where are your five nines now? CenturyLink’s nationwide outage affects millions

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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.

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