DNS issue hobbles Comcast

Domain name system problem causes headaches for Comcast's broadband subscribers nationwide.

Jim Hu Staff Writer, CNET News.com
Jim Hu
covers home broadband services and the Net's portal giants.
Jim Hu
Comcast, the nation's largest broadband Internet provider, said an issue with its domain name system caused a nationwide service outage Thursday evening.

A company spokeswoman said the outage lasted nearly six hours. It was first discovered around 3:30 p.m. PDT and resolved by 9 p.m, she said.

"We were able to quickly identify that there were intermittent problems with our DNS systems," said Comcast spokeswoman Jeanne Russo.

Russo added that beyond suffering from service outages, some customers experienced slow service, while others witnessed a brief restoration of their connection.

The DNS system essentially routes one's Internet protocol address to the appropriate Web site that the user wants to visit. If the DNS system goes down, Web pages requested usually do not appear or take a long time to load. The computer is still receiving a signal from its Internet connection, but Web pages cannot be viewed.

Comcast recently upgraded its systems to offer up to 4mbps of download speed, up from 3mbps. As of Dec. 31, 2004 Comcast reported 7 million broadband subscribers, the largest in the country.