Comcast customers hit by another major outage

Comcast's Internet customers in the Midwest were hit by an outage last night, apparently related to the same DNS issues that clobbered the East Coast last week.

Comcast customers in Illinois and three other nearby states lost their Internet access last night, apparently due to the same problem that took down service for East Coast customers just a week ago.

Reports first began showing up on Twitter, with Comcast customers in several Midwest states tweeting that their connections were down. Comcast's own Twitter account, Comcastcares, later confirmed that the outage was affecting people in Minnesota, Illinois, and Michigan and seemed to be Domain Name System (DNS) related. The company also said at the time that it was working on a fix.

More specifically, the outage hit people in Chicago, Northwest Indiana, and parts of Michigan and Minnesota, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Starting at around 7:30 pm CT, the problem was resolved by Comcast around midnight.

The DNS-related glitch that apparently took down service in the Midwest was also responsible for clobbering Internet service for customers on the East Coast on November 28. In both cases, Comcast's DNS servers, which handle the translation between IP addresses and their respective domain names, weren't working. The fix for both East Coast and Midwest subscribers was to point their computers' DNS servers to non-Comcast machines, such as those from Google or OpenDNS.

For example, Comcast customers who redirected their settings to Google's public DNS IP addresses of 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 were able to get online. Comcast advises Midwest customers still experiencing issues to reboot their modems.

Comcast did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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