UPDATED with reports of some customers having service restored. Before Comcast can come back to the bargaining table with a new offer for 21st Century Fox assets, it will likely need to get its broadband service back up and running.
As the battle with Disney over Fox continues, the No. 1 U.S. cable provider is dealing today with widespread, coast-to-coast outages of its broadband, TV and voice services. In a statement relayed to customers on Twitter, the company said a “fiber cut” at one of its “large backbone network partners” led to the blackout, which it said is also affecting some other unnamed providers.
At the end of the business day on the East Coast, Comcast tweeted an update blaming “two unrelated cuts to our network backbone providers.” Engineers are “restoring services,” the statement added. Based on Twitter interactions with the company’s official handle, some customers do appear to be regaining service, though the comeback seems far from complete.
It is the second disruption this month for Comcast, following an interruption of business phone service a couple of weeks ago.
Since 2015, Comcast has had more broadband customers than pay-TV ones (the levels now stand at about 26 million broadband and 22 million pay-TV as of the spring).
While details about the outage are still emerging, the plunging of millions of customers into the dark is likely to stir up some of the frustration that has often boiled over for MVPDs in recent years. In 2014, a call from a customer trying to disconnect Comcast service went viral, prompting course correction and investment by the company as it sought to repair its customer-service reputation.
Despite those efforts, Comcast earned another spot last year on the website 24/7 Wall St.’s Hall of Shame, an annual ranking that is often packed with cable, broadband and phone providers. Dish, Cox, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint were also on the 2017 list.
Here is the latest update from Comcast, as well as the earlier reply the company’s official Twitter handle has been sending as a reply to customers: