April 8, 2005 12:44 PM PDT

DNS issue hobbles Comcast

Comcast, the nation's largest broadband Internet provider, said an issue with its domain name system caused a nationwide service outage Thursday evening.

A company spokeswoman said the outage lasted nearly six hours. It was first discovered around 3:30 p.m. PDT and resolved by 9 p.m, she said.

"We were able to quickly identify that there were intermittent problems with our DNS systems," said Comcast spokeswoman Jeanne Russo.

Russo added that beyond suffering from service outages, some customers experienced slow service, while others witnessed a brief restoration of their connection.

The DNS system essentially routes one's Internet protocol address to the appropriate Web site that the user wants to visit. If the DNS system goes down, Web pages requested usually do not appear or take a long time to load. The computer is still receiving a signal from its Internet connection, but Web pages cannot be viewed.

Comcast recently upgraded its systems to offer up to 4mbps of download speed, up from 3mbps. As of Dec. 31, 2004 Comcast reported 7 million broadband subscribers, the largest in the country.

33 comments

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Bull ****
Mine started being sporadic around 6PM CST by 7PM I couldnt resolve jack squat. By 9PM the cable modem lost its IP and couldnt obtain a new one. I called them around 9PM CST and was told about the outage. I went to bed around midnight but by then I still didnt have an IP address and I did try and renew several times over the course of the evening. So this crap about being down only an hour is just that..crap. Prob trying to weezle out of giving all the people who had an evening of outage a free week of service or something. I dont know what happened but the system WAS down for more then a hour. A LOT more.
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Reply Link Flag
free service
what a joke! you must be out of your mind. you pay for the service you get.. if you dont get it.. you get a credit. my service was off for maybe an hour. I didnt feel the need to pick up the phone because I knew that Comcast would resolve it.. AND THEY DID!!!!
Posted by (8 comments )
Link Flag
What a load of crap
I am a comcast user in CA (Bay area) and my internet was out for at least 6 hours. I was receiving a signal but could not connect to ANY web pages, let alone do anything useful like look up email. Calls to Comcast's help center got a busy signal - so there was no one to complain too. Today, Comcast has published no appology, no explanation - there is basically no communication from Comcast on this outage. We NEED COMPETITION in this area. The FCC needs to force the cable companies to allow equal access for competing service providers to the broadband lines to my house. I am tired of Comcast's arrogant attitude, random price increases and poor service.
Posted by (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Comcast Lie
Comcast's DNS server was down all night. I can't believe they
have the balls to say it was 1 hour. Instead of repeating
Comcast's lies, please check the facts before writing your
stories. Isn't that what every journalists is suppose to do?
Posted by (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Did you get a call?
.. .from a journalist at CNET? No?


.......... neither did I.

So much for fact checking ....
Posted by (3 comments )
Link Flag
do you work for comcast?
do you have a net minding tool that tells you how long it was down?? because for me it was an hour so they were correct in that statement.
Posted by (8 comments )
Link Flag
Corporate Lies
This is a blatant lie. The DNS was down from around 6pm Central (Chicago) until AT LEAST Midnight. So the story they are handing out is incorrect. The only other fact that is being disputed is weather or not this was an upgrade gone wrong or a flat out outage. Either way Comcast handled it poorly. The lack of communication was just terrible. Their forums were active, but the only time someone from Comcast posted was after the fact - Friday Morning. Get with it Comcast and stop lying.
Posted by tonyjk3 (5 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Liars!
I can't believe Comcast lied so bad to hide the effects of the DNS problems. I live in Pleasanton and our DNS was down for more than FIVE HOURS! I can't believe they would lie so bad to hide their problems.
Posted by (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
DNS workaround
BTW, the next time Comcast's DNS goes down for Five Hours or so, a work around is to call a friend who has DSL, have them do a search online for other providers' DNS IP Addresses and set your NIC to use those. That goodness for competition! That way you're not at the mercy of Comcast's horrible DNS problems. Or better yet, make sure you have a list of DNS servers handy.
Posted by (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
There are some public DNS servers
I use these:

205.166.226.38
69.67.108.10
68.46.140.152
207.218.192.38
207.218.192.39
204.127.202.4
Posted by (3 comments )
Link Flag
I was out for that hour
Or just a bit more, but nothing like the 6+ from the replies here. However, for the past month I have been getting 30KB/sec download speed. Yep, 1/10 of the advertised rate. Reportedly this is from the many people overloading the system for pay per view digital content. I don't care, I want what I paid for.
Posted by NickEP (11 comments )
Reply Link Flag
slow comcast.......
you should try resetting your modem if you have not allready. When my connection was upgraded it slowed to a 1.5mb until I power cycled the modem, then I had the new speed of 4mb
Posted by (1 comment )
Link Flag
Don't believe press releases
I live in North Florida and Comcast Internet access was out for over 5 hours. One other report has the outage due to updating their email system. Skype still worked though.
Posted by nosbtr (2 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Out more that 6 hours
Comcast is an arrogant monopoly. Their gall is charracteristic. The outage lasted well over 6 hours with service limping for more hours.
Bah! one hour!
Posted by shreeg (26 comments )
Reply Link Flag
But you keep paying their bills.
Amazing.
Posted by katamari (310 comments )
Link Flag
One HOUR? NOT!!!
This has been a problem for the entire day. One hour is a crock.

And I can honestly say I will never use Comcast's DNS servers again.
Posted by (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Horrible reporting
Go here for accurate news: <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.computerworld.com/securitytopics/security/story/0,10801,100960,00.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.computerworld.com/securitytopics/security/story/0,10801,100960,00.html</a>

My connection was out for about the same amount of time they reflect at Computerworld -- around 6 hours.
Posted by (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What the heck?
That's weird... somebody elses handle is on my post. Holy crap... you gotta love CNET.
Posted by (3 comments )
Link Flag
That's not what DNS does...
"The DNS system essentially routes one's Internet protocol address to the appropriate Web site that the user wants to visit"

That statement is totally backwards. DNS stands for Domain Name System and takes the www.mydomain.com and converts it into a IP address that your browser uses to connect to a web server or other service.

A better explanation would be "The DNS system takes the name of a web server such as news.cbsi.com and converts it into a numeric internet protocol address that allows the user to access the approperiate web server."

Sheez...And you would think that a site like CNet would know this...
Posted by Maelstorm (130 comments )
Reply Link Flag
And VoIP Service Was
down, of course. People attempting to place 911 calls using Comcast broadband were out of luck. Hope no one died. Personal injury lawyers, start your engines.

From CNET:
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://news.cbsi.com/Raising+alarms+about+911+over+Net+phones/2100-7352_3-5660540.html" target="_newWindow">http://news.cbsi.com/Raising+alarms+about+911+over+Net+phones/2100-7352_3-5660540.html</a>
Raising alarms about 911 over Net phones

"Time is running out for fast-growing Net phone providers to fully support 911 emergency services, a key but costly public safety feature that few now provide. In recent weeks, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott sued Vonage, a pioneer in voice over Internet Protocol to force it to be more open about its 911 deficiencies in the wake of a shooting in Houston."

Keith
www.techcando.com
Posted by Stating (869 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Actually, my VOIP
was the only thing on my line that did work correctly.
Posted by (3 comments )
Link Flag
If You Need 100% Internet Uptime
Then you'd better keep your POTS line and pay a few bucks a month for backup dial-up Internet service. Regardless of whether your primary ISP is cable or DSL, a service interruption is only a matter of time. If you live in an earthquake or other disaster prone area, this is all the more imperative. Think of it as an insurance premium, just like the other insurance policies you have.

Keith
www.techcando.com
Posted by Stating (869 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Don't care about 100% Just don't spit in my face
and call it rain. Comcast is lying out of their *** and everyone knows it.
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Link Flag
Comcast was down for till 3:58 am per their Help
There was a message out on their Help site indicating that they were down till 3:58 am EST. There message was pulled shortly after that cause I tried to go back and print it later on.

If you knew your VPN ip address you could also have used the DNS at your work.

Gee....I was hoping to call in and be told that the problem was with my cable modem likely they normally do.....
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Well It's Hobbled Again (4/9)
From (Con)cast:

National
General Outage
(Connection to the Internet is currently unavailable. Our technicians are aware of the situation and are working to resolve the issue. This outage was logged at : 4/9/2005 6:19:00 PM EDT.)

Keith
www.techcando.com
Posted by Stating (869 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Comcast outage information not quite right
The DNS outage began 8:30pm ET, but was not corrected at midnight (despite the public information shown in your article). Attempting to reach Comcast resulted fast-busy signals for local and national telephone signals (and "your are number 386 in the queue" for live chat). Their frontline had no idea about what alternatives to use (e.g. public DNS). While they said that credit for the outage would be made, they said that each user must individually call Comcast and request the credit (!).

One supervisor even said that since "Comcast's internet was for entertainment, they bore no real responsibility for restoring service in a timely manner" though "engineers were aware of the problem and were working on it".

Later internal postings pointed to an engineering error doing some sort of upgrade on their DNS servers.

Astoundingly poor process, support, and architecture .. and an attidude that indicates that they really don't care. Just keep sending the subscription money in.
Posted by ErstwhileIII (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Its down again...
April 12th 10PM..DNS is down again. Thanks for the person who posted those DNS servers. Comcast is a piece of ****.
Posted by Jonathan (832 comments )
Reply Link Flag
and down again ...
National

General Outage

(Connection to the Internet is currently unavailable. Our technicians are aware of the situation and are working to resolve the issue. This outage was logged at : 4/13/2005 6:47:00 PM EDT.)
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
COMCAST
The system in Fort Lauderdale went down for over 2 days. They lie lie lie. After comcast (yes no cap) restored the system I have not had the speed that I had before. My speeds were a low of 7kbs down/32kbsup to a high of 3156kbs down / 278kbs up. I use VOIP and I don't have to tellyou what that was like.

Like a fool I upgraded my service from 6megs to 8 megs. The speeds went up so I could use my VOIP.
The "up grade speed was to be the same price as the 6meg speed for the next 3 months and the increase $10.00/ month. Good old comcast started charging new price right out of the gate.

I called comcast on April 17th, and informed them of the problem. They wrote up a work ticket and made an apointment for April 19th from 11AM to 2PM. No one showed up by 3:30PM so I called comcast. They informed me that the service call had been canceled. I asked by whom. Thay could not tell me. I then vented on the poor employee, and made another apointment for the 19th of April.

On the 19th of April, the service person showwd up and said that yes I do have a problem. He said that my equiptment was working fine and the problem was some where from the house to comcast. He informed me that another service person would have to come out and check at the poll. He said (lie lie lie and more lies) he would put a work order in so the work could be done. This comcast employee told me that comcast is adding too manny new customers, and not upgrading the equiptment to handle the customer base.

On April 26th still having the problem, I called comcast and was told that no work order had been put in so they would have to send out another service person to check everything over again. So I made an apointment fo April 28th

On April 28th the service person showed up with a "helper" (most likely for protection). They blew smoke up my butt and told me it was due to having two different price structures in the system at the same time. They called somewhere and had it converted to one. Then I was getting 8 to 9 megs of download. One they left I was speeding along for about one to two hours, and then back to the same old crap.

I called comcast to try to resolve the billing error. To make along story short She ended up giveing me the rate for new customers of $34.95/ month for 6 months. I informed her of her mastake and she said that she did not know how to correct the problem so I guess I will have a $20.00 windfall for the next 6 monthes. I then called and made another service request.

While the last service person was here he used speakeasy.net for the speed check. After he left I checked with speakeasy and can get there service for less than with comcast and Vonage together. Speakeasy has a 95% approval rating and you can get service with out a land line. I need to check on them more.

Comcast needs to clean up their act. I will persue them with the FCC, FTC, City, County, and anyone elce I can think of. Thay are no more that scam artists.

Fred Ferguson
Posted by Fredferguson1952 (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
about COMCAST and this issue,hmmm..
Well from my EXPERIANCES with COMCAST its a whole lot better then that for internet/digital cable THEN EVEREST or COX or TIME WARNER CABLE was for me in my area i live in Kansas City,Missroui when i had comcast last year, now i live 10 minutes from there and have 2 choices for internet. 1 AT&#38;T/SBC for DSL which i think sucks,or 2COMCAST cable .I would really like to get someother choice out here but i dont think that will happen anytime soon unless we do like the last 2 guys said about it, have the FCC do some reasoning with the IP CABLE providers , to run their lines/service out by my way and some lower pricing would be nice to. i think the reason COMCAST is better for me here then the others is the higher price ,they might do better service on repairs/upgrades on their servers i think is way its more. Anyway altough time warner /cox/everst had more plan speed packages on their lines to choose from is probably more my style for less money then im spending for less speed now then the others.....
Posted by dawian (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Comcast far better than what we had previously here in Charlottesville, VA
Here in Charlottesville, VA we are happy to have Comcast, as previously all we had was the dismal service from Adelphia Cable. If they have a temporary outage, so be it, as long as they learn from their glitches and continue to improve their network. Here, they dug out all the old infrastructure they inherited from Adelphia and put in new and better cables and distribution boxes. Just behind my house, I saw one of their crews put an eight-foot long ground rod into the ground. They are putting in an infrastructure that is meant to last. Way to go, Comcast!
Posted by zaenker (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
In the Chicago northwest suburbs on Friday night, everything Comcast was out. I called Comcast on my cell phone and the recording told me that they knew of the problem. The outage only lasted a few hours which was no serious problem as we have cell phones for emergencies. I even used my PS3 to watch some videos from Netflix by mail. My wife said it was nice not to have the phone ringing.
Posted by ronaldporep (2 comments )
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