Internet Outage Causes Frustration Across Large Swath of UWS; Service Fixed Before 2

Spectrum file photo by Will Buckner via wikimedia.

By Carol Tannenhauser

A prolonged Spectrum cable outage, shutting down Internet, phone, and TV services for about 20 blocks of the southern Upper West Side, was leading to frustration among locals on Tuesday morning. It began shortly after 2 a.m. Some took to social media to tell the company.

“Ridiculous as hell bro,” Arman tweeted. “I’m in the middle of work and it crashes. Goes up for 2 minutes, crashes again and again. I’m tired of this company.”

Hang on a second! a spokesman for Spectrum said.

“Our technicians located a cut fiber optic cable during the overnight hours that initially appears to be damaged by an outside company or contractor,” John Bonomo, senior director of communications for Spectrum, New York City, explained. “[We can’t give] specific or exact streets, but safe to say the affected area(s) are 50s – 70s, both east and west sides. We generally do not give a number of customers affected, since it is always moving, i.e. decreasing as we splice fiber cables, which we are doing right now. Our crews are on site at the fiber cut, and are working to restore services by mid-day.”

Just before 2 p.m., Bonomo wrote in to say that the issue had been resolved.

NEWS | 44 comments | permalink
    1. NotImpressed says:

      I’m up early and noted that it was out by 4am today.
      I encourage everyone to call Spectrum to be credited for the time of the outage.

      • Elenor Radzivilover says:

        I was informed the outage occurred at 2AM. I got some email from Spectrum with a vague statement of credit if “qualified.” More important right now, is the service is not settled. It’s going in and out, on my side.

      • Truth and Reason says:

        You can call, and they will tell you they are going to give you a credit, but then they don’t. So then you can call again and they still won’t give it to you.

        I’m originally from Kentucky, and there, when there is a mass outage on this level, the Commonwealth’s Attorney General ensures a pro rate is given to all affected customers, requested or not. But in New York, there is nothing to make them give us back our money. Who cares that they are violating contract? Who cares if they are not providing the service we paid for? With no enforcement, there’s nothing to stop them. I really wish some smart attorney would class action this crap and get it over with.

      • Doe says:

        Was without phone and internet for 10 days. I was credited with $50 with no chance to refuse. 11 technicians and 2 supervisors and I’ve had to get a cell phone for when it happens again. And it has.

    2. Jay says:

      This is why cable TV and internet should be regulated like a public utility, the way electric and land lines are.

    3. Eric says:

      Inconvenient? Sure. That said, I am surprised at how dependable Spectrum’s service is.

      Being a child of the ’50s, I can say confidently that we are now too damned spoiled and want what we want when we want it.

      Roll with it. It’s not all about you.

      • Dave says:

        I’m guessing you don’t have children who are doing remote school by Zoom? It’s not all about you.

      • KR says:

        Eric are you serious? Inconvenient. It’s not just to sit back and play video games. With the pandemic most people, like myself, work from home. Losing internet causes me to have to take an unplanned day off because I’m unable to work. Inconvenient is if it goes down 1 hr, 12hrs+ is ridiculous.

      • Virtual Joe says:

        “Roll with it. It’s not all about you.”

        Don’t be so smug.

        I, along with several others, have been working from home for almost 2 years now and rely on Internet access to work. We also attend meetings virtually where we may be the ones presenting a PowerPoint for 30-60 minutes and need to screenshare. So yeah, it is about me, and my ability to do my job.

      • Oliver says:

        We want what we want because we’re paying for these services

        • Eric says:

          And I can hear you stamp your foot from over here.

          • Whatev says:

            Eric, if you think it’s “convenient” to pay for stuff you don’t get it, I’m happy to sell you nonexistent service in exchange for your obviously abundant cash.

      • Diana says:

        Considering you are a ‘child of the 50’s’ that means you are likely retired with no children living with you. So while you can sit around reading books and waiting for the jello to set, the rest of us need internet to educate our children and to work – considering almost everyone in this neighborhood likely works from home.

        Your take on this is preposterous…”it’s not all about you” Outrageous. We have had no internet for 14 hours.

    4. BJK says:

      I think Spectrum is quite reliable. In one of the very few problems I’ve ever had, my modem broke at 3pm the day before Thanksgiving and they had a technician out by 7pm who fixed it before the holiday.

    5. Hi I called Spectrum to complain about this outage and the fact that service averages have been repetitive over the past month. I demanded a refund for a portion of my monthly charge. The agent looked back over their database and concluded that I was due at $22 rebate. I actually wanted more due to the inconvenience and my need to use my cell service to provide needed Internet coverage during their outages.

      In any event, I urge everyone to call or engage Spectrum via chat and demand an accounting of the outages and the rebates they are due. Only by creating financial pressure on these companies will we ever drive them to improve their level of service.

    6. Steve in Manhattan says:

      74th and Amsterdam – out right about 12 hours. Unacceptable.

    7. John says:

      Spectrum is not very reliable, We have lost total service 6 times this year once for 4 days. The other 5 times from 4-12 hours. Other issues have been static on phone line, slow internet and not getting all the channels we pay for in package.

    8. your_neighbor says:

      It didn’t go down at 2AM, I lost internet and phone service around 11PM last night.

      Regarding working from home, I just hotspotted from my phone and it wasn’t a big deal.

    9. B.B. says:

      People need to relax and unclench. Not every issue is a federal case.

      As clearly noted in article outage was caused by a damaged cable. Spectrum identified and repaired issue within several hours. What would you have them do? Employ a small army of monitors to physically watch over hundreds of miles of cables?

      If this had been Verizon service would still be out, and likely so for months on end. So count your blessings.

    10. Eddie says:

      No phone. No internet . No problem.

      But no TELEVISION! That’s cruel and inhuman treatment.

      Come on Spectrum. Shape up.

    11. UWSConcerned says:

      Stuff happens and it is understandable, but frustration here was that once able to get Spectrum on phone, they were unwilling to provide any type of time estimate, not even if it would be fixed by end of today.

    12. Kathleen says:

      People get so angry. Yes, it’s a huge inconvenience but shit happens. Things break, break down, whatever. It seems they repaired it as quickly as possible. Nothing you can do about it so get over it.

      • B.B. says:

        This is the UWS we’re talking about, an area where kvetching was raised to an art form generations ago.

      • Laura says:

        Yea get over it you complainers. Please please stop complaining all the time. What is next, you are going to demand running water, electricity, and heat in the winter….come on folks. Things happen, stop complaining. It’s not like you work from home and educate your kids. Just call it a day, kick back and read books. Internet isn’t that important. Quite frankly neither is electricity. Complainers!!

    13. Paul says:

      Still not fixed behind Lincoln Center for a few of us who live on west end here

    14. Bronx Boy says:

      I’ve been pretty happy with Spectrum, this is the first outage I’ve had since the start of the pandemic. Until June I worked at home full-time, then 3x a week.

      It’s unreasonable to expect any service to run without problems ever (we also have blackouts, phone outages, Internet sites down, etc.), and if you have a business or other need, an easy backup is a cellphone hotspot.

    15. Scooter says:

      Out again! 5:30PM Upper 70s and West End

    16. WFH Warrior says:

      Not much of an inconvenience. I just switched to my phone’s hotspot and had a normal WFH day.

    17. UWSconcerned says:

      Lol, best part is that I just now got a bot call from Spectrum saying that my service has been restored (four hours after it was turned back on).

    18. Big Earl says:

      Glad I gave up on Spectrum and moved to RCN 9 years ago. I encourage others to make the switch. RCN is top shelf compared to Spectrum.

      • mike peccavi says:

        I disagree. I had RCN and in my 2 bdr apartment, I could not get wifi in my kitchen and in my master bedroom. They could not fix the situation.

      • West Ender says:

        RCN isn’t available unless your building is specifically wired for it. (Unlike Spectrum, which seems to be everywhere.) I *hate* Spectrum with the fire of 1,000 suns for reasons too numerous to recount here. I’ve called RCN many times over the years begging them to come to my building but I think it has to be a landlord request/decision.

    19. Nola Steele says:

      It is causing problems in NJ now

    20. Doe says:

      If there is a hell, Spectrum will be the provider. Their contract was negotiated by the city. The service is atrocious and my bill has gone from $184/month to $234 in one year.

    21. Doe says:

      Spectrum’s contract was negotiated by the city. It is essentially a monopoly for most. Ridiculous.

    22. Christopher Walsh says:

      It has not been resolved at Lincoln Terrace, UWS

    23. Just2cents says:

      Something was going on even before Tuesday. Monday night at 7 PM on the dot my cable service went out. After some time on the phone with support they were able to resolve the issue. They told me there were networking issues. Coincidence? Maybe, I don’t know. Woke up Tuesday morning and cable was out again. Didn’t get an email from spectrum until 11 AM so maybe they didn’t know about it? Anyway I was very glad for my hotspot on Tuesday.

    24. David S says:

      Like most of the other folks who commented on this, I work from home nowadays. When I started work at about 7:45 and saw that my Spectrum connection was down, I tethered my cell phone to my business computer and was up and running by 7:46. My 5G mobile service is actually a bit faster than my wired service through Spectrum, so I didn’t notice any difference in performance.

      Based on my 20+ years as a Time Warner / Spectrum customer, I know that their customer service is a joke, but their uptime has been completely acceptable, probably better than 99.9%. If you truly need another nine or two, either pay for their business-class service or have some redundancy.

      Anyone who works from home, depends on a consumer-class connection for their livelihood and doesn’t have a backup plan deserves what they get.

    25. EdNY says:

      FIOS. Love it.

      • RAL says:

        I would love to switch to FIOS if they didn’t have to drill another hole with cables into my apartment in addition to those I already have from Time Warner/Spectrum. But I am cutting the TV cord in the next few days for streaming.

    26. Mark Moore says:

      This is why we ditched Time Warner and signed up for Fios at the first opportunity. Time Warner/Spectrum was OK when it worked, but it only worked about 98 percent of the time. In roughly five years, Fios has never gone out once for us.

    27. Robert says:

      Which outside contractor caused the fiber optic cable to be damaged? I always wonder if that will happen, & not Spectrum’s fault. I want to know how they prevent it in the future & if they sue this outside contractor for the damage. I’ve had TimeWarner/Spec for 25 yrs., 7 diff. Manhattan apts.

    28. Ted says:

      I remember the bad old days when we had to deal with Time Warner Cable, then Spectrum came and everything was perfect. Their non-stop advertisements told us this was the case.

      Oh, wait it was and is the same old garbage service that it was before and all that money they spent on PR could have been spent on actual improvements to the system.