Comcast e-mail outage sparks Twitter updates galore

Blockage lasts more than nine hours for some subscribers

Comcast.net e-mail went down for potentially millions of subscribers the better part of the day Saturday as users and observers got running commentary on the service provider's efforts to manage the situation via Twitter updates from Frank Eliason, the company's director of Digital Care.

The outage started at 7:30 a.m. ET, with Eliason continuously issuing updates to his Comcastcares Twitter page throughout the day, several times forecasting fixes that failed to materialize.

Aside from Eliason's Twitter messages, or Tweets, there was scant information coming from Comcast about the outage. A message to users clicking on Comcast.net's Live Chat feature on its Help page apologized for the blockage and said, "At this time there is a known issue with our email system, our technicians are working as quickly as possible to resolve the issue."

Apologizing for the hassle, Eliason said Saturday morning: "Multiple servers down after power issue." After a false restart, with servers coming back up and then e-mail again being halted, Eliason kept up a constant flow of Tweets, in response to user questions.

"Just received notice that others that were fixed are being impacted again. I am sorry for this trouble and agree unacceptable," he tweeted about six hours into the outage.

Mail appeared to be flowing again for most subscribers late afternoon, with e-mail being routed to some users more slowly than others. Some users appeared to still be waiting for old e-mail to come through 12 hours after the outage was reported.

Eliason, who according to the Comcastcares page Saturday had more than 14,000 active Twitter followers, has been widely credited with spearheading use of Twitter for corporate communications.

Comcast officials contacted as e-mail started flowing again were unable to immediately say how many subscribers were affected.

Comcast had about 15 million high-speed Internet subscribers at the end of 2008, according to the company's latest quarterly financial report.

"The issue impacted some customers' ability to access their emails and address books, but did not affect their ability to access the Internet," according to a company statement issued after e-mail started flowing again early Saturday evening.

"It's important to point out that no customer emails were lost in this process," the statement said.

Minor e-mail outages are fairly common, but those that last more than a few hours are typically, depending on the number users affected, considered major occurrences at large service providers.

In March Google suffered a widely noted outage that affected many users globally and lasted for two-and-a-half hours.

Tags twittercomcastoutage

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Marc Ferranti

IDG News Service

Comments

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest News Articles

Resources

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?