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Time Warner Cable suffers massive outage nationwide

The cable giant's services went down in a number of areas across the US, but by midmorning Wednesday all seemed to be back to normal.

Internet users in the Northeast were hit especially hard by a Time Warner Cable outage Wednesday morning. DownDetector/Screenshot by CNET

Time Warner Cable customers across the US woke up Wednesday to an Internet outage.

A site called DownDetector has been tracking the Time Warner Cable outage, showing a heat map of where the outages are occurring. Earlier this morning, many people in California were affected, as well as many of the company's customers in the Northeast. As of this writing, the outages in California and Texas seemed to have eased, but the Northeast is still experiencing widespread outages in several areas, including New York City. It's not clear, however, how up-to-date that tracking actually is.

By midmorning Wednesday, Time Warner Cable tweeted that "services should be restored for all customers," with an apology for the interruption.

Time Warner Cable has 11.4 million subscribers in the United States.

Not surprisingly, those who were affected by the outage took to Twitter -- apparently by accessing the service on another provider's network -- to complain that Time Warner Cable service is down. Many of the tweets simply stated that Time Warner Cable's service is down, while others added a comical twist.

"Time Warner nationwide outage: wireless carriers squeal with glee at all the data overage charges they'll pocket," one person wrote.

Time Warner Cable has kept details on the outage close to the vest. At approximately 4 a.m. PT on Wednesday, the company had tweeted that it's "working to restore services to all areas as quickly as possible," though it wouldn't provide an estimated restoration time.

In response to a query by CNET, Time Warner Cable issued this statement:

"At 430am ET this morning during our routine network maintenance, an issue with our Internet backbone created disruption with our Internet and On Demand services. As of 6am ET services were largely restored as updates continue to bring all customers back online."

Outages are not necessarily surprising for Internet users, but have become more frustrating as people conduct more and more of their personal and work lives online. An outage as widespread as this one underscores the pervasiveness of the Internet and the need for a quick resolution to any disruption in service.

Time Warner Cable is in the middle of an effort to merge with Comcast in a deal valued at $45.2 billion. While the companies are more likely than not to combine forces, federal scrutiny has been increasing over the last few months as regulators have dug their claws into the deal.

Update 8:54 a.m. PT: Added word from Time Warner Cable that services have been restored for all customers.