Updated Aug. 28, 2014 at 11:35 a.m.

Time Warner Cable: 'Erroneous configuration' triggered nationwide Internet outage

Published: 2014-08-28 09:48:00
Updated: 2014-08-28 11:35:16

Time Warner Cable says its nationwide Internet outage on Wednesday was triggered by an internal mistake during network maintenance.

TWC apologized, saying "a failure of this size is very serious."

The collapse occurred well before dawn on Wednesday and hit TWC's network that covers parts of 29 states with some 11 million high-speed Internet customers.

Users reacted with outrage.

In a statement provided to WRAL by TWC spokesperson Scott Pryzwansky late Wednesday night, the company said it had identified the problem and was taking steps to ensure it was not repeated.

“During an overnight network maintenance activity in which we were managing IP addresses, an erroneous configuration was propagated throughout our national backbone, resulting in a network outage," the statement reads.

"We immediately identified and corrected the root cause of the issue and restored service by 7:30 a.m. ET.

"We apologize for any inconvenience this caused our customers.

"A failure of this size is very serious and we are taking the necessary steps to improve our processes with the objective of making sure this doesn’t happen again.”

IP refers to Internet Protocol; IP addresses determine where Internet traffic is sent. 

Just after 5 a.m., TWC's Internet access went down in parts of the Raleigh area after being sluggish. While TWC said service was restored later that morning, some readers continued to complain about slow service. 

"We believe service has been restored to all affected customers," Time Warner Cable spokesperson Scott Pryzwansky told WRAL.com just before noon. "We’re still investigating the root cause and cannot give you a definitive number of affected customers."

Some customers also complained about problems with TV and phone service, based on media reports and emails sent to WRAL.

A network map about TWC illustrates how wide spread the outage was.  

TWC  is being acquired by rival cable company Comcast.

On Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission said Time Warner Cable, based in New York, would pay $1.1 million to resolve outage reporting violations.

A network outage map shows areas affected include:

  • North Carolina
  • Los Angeles
  • Pennsylvania
  • New York/New England
  • San Antonio 
  • Dallas

The company has a major tech support center in Morrisville.


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"Ok so an 'Erroneous configuration' hosed all thier routers in the network. Apparently it wasn't tested first."

I would imagine they tested the non-erroneous configuration and it worked. You know erroneous means that someone made an error, right? Humans make mistakes. All the testing in the world doesn't stop humans from making a mistake at the last minute.

Pilots train at flying planes all the time and are professionals, yet some have made mistakes that kill people and themselves, even though they presumably knew what they were doing.
I assume TWC won't mind if my next bill payment includes an erroneous configuration.
Ok so an 'Erroneous configuration' hosed all thier routers in the network. Apparently it wasn't tested first.
"HORRIBLE COMPANY!!!! and I don't believe their excuse"

It sounds like you have some inside information then, why won't you tell us what really happened if their excuse it not to be believed?

You think they did this on purpose, and for what reason would they do it on purpose?

"Hey guys, I have a great idea that will get the Comcast merger approved! Why don't we cause a major network outage for a few hours!"

How is a mistake during a network maintenance not believeable to you?
HORRIBLE COMPANY!!!! and I don't believe their excuse
LACK of training and communication. AT least they did NOT blame it on BUSH.
I am in NC and work for a company in Ireland. Needless to say, I work from home and can access the company worksite 24 hours a day. I was affected by the outage Wednesday morning. When it started, I could access a few websites but not most that I tried. My company worksite was not one that I was able to access. Several hours later things started working again and all was well. But I was just trying to log into my company worksite again and I'm having the same problems I had Wednesday morning. I can access some sites but not others...my worksite being one I cannot access. I don't think TWC has figured out the problem or they are having difficulty fixing it. This is getting to be old news with TWC.
Worst company of all time. Their management deserves the very worst life has to offer!
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