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.

  • WRAL readers vent anger: WRAL asked readers to tell us how the Internet outage affected them. They responded in anger and frustration.
  • Small businesses hit: A 17-year-old entrepreneur in Wake Forest and a full-time telecommuter in Raleigh who works with clients in New York City explain how the outage affected them.

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.