Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Time Warner Nationwide Outage - Could It Have Been Prevented?

Time Warner Cable, one of the largest cable and broadband providers, suffered a nationwide outage on their broadband Internet services this morning at 4:30 a.m. ET. According to the company’s statement, it happened during their routine network maintenance. They said, "An issue with our Internet backbone created disruption with our Internet and On Demand services…As of 6 a.m. ET, services were largely restored as updates continue to bring all customers back online."

The website downdetector.com, which tracks reports of outages in real time, posted a map of affected areas, showing a large number of reports in areas ranging from New York to Texas to California. At the peak of the outage the site reported almost 10,000 complaints.

Largely restored unfortunately means there’s still been some issues for some users. Social media is just adding to the negative views the company has been receiving. And why not, when people are having to rely on their smartphones instead? Tweets from TWC customers indicated that their Internet service was still spotty after 7 a.m.

Earlier this year, the American Consumer Satisfaction Index found Time Warner Cable had the lowest satisfaction rate of any big television provider. Comcast received the second-lowest satisfaction rate in that same survey.

If you use a cable/broadband provider you’ve likely experienced some sort of outage or hiccup in your service, but those are typically centralized to certain cities or neighborhoods. For a nationwide outage to happen, it is truly surprising. One would think such a major company has a backup plan in place. For example, using the SpeedFusion VPN capability on Peplink routers, coupled with a SimplyBonding service would ensure 99.99999% uptime. This is mainly because you’re not relying on just 1 or even 2 Internet connections with simple failover capability. You can have 2 or more internet connections that are bonded together and if one goes down, your connected devices and apps will never know there was a failure - even apps that maintain persistent connections.

If you’re a customer of any broadband service and rely on 24/7 uptime, you may seriously want to consider checking out the SimplyBonding service for yourself.