Time Warner Cable said Wednesday service was largely restored after a problem that occurred during routine maintenance caused a nationwide outage of its Internet service for hours.
The company says it is still investigating the cause of the problem, which occurred with its Internet backbone, the paths that local or regional networks connect to in order to carry data long distances.
The company says the problem affected all of its markets and started at 4:30 a.m. and was largely restored by 6 a.m., and updates continue to bring all customers back online. The outage sparked widespread complaints on social networks.
Tim Farrar, an analyst at TMF Associates said there are major outages of at least one telecom provider every year, although typically they aren't fully national.
"AT&T had a major outage back in April, Comcast had one last October. Verizon Wireless had several national outages on its 4G network back in 2012," he said. "Usually it is related to bugs in new technology, and occasionally to routine maintenance where someone did something wrong."
Time Warner Cable, which is in the process of being bought by rival Comcast Corp. for $45 billion, has about 11.4 million high-speed data subscribers in 29 states nationwide. The Federal Communications Commission is reviewing the deal.
Separately, on Tuesday, the FCC said Time Warner Cable, based in New York, would pay $1.1 million to resolve outage reporting violations. The FCC found that Time Warner Cable did not report disruptions in service to its networks to the FCC in a timely enough manner. In addition to the payment, the company is submitting a three-year compliance plan to make sure it will comply with the reporting rules.