Were you affected by last night's outage of Comcast internet service? Reports emerged in the evening of people unable to get online in Seattle and the Bay Area, and at 8 p.m. the corporate behemoth confirmed the outage. Three hours later, Comcast said its engineers had repaired the service. If you were affected, Comcast recommends nourishing your spirit by contacting a Twitter account called Comcast Cares.
"We could say we apologize, & we do," Comcast said in another tweet last night, sounding like an embarrassed teenager owning up to his parents, who knows deep down he's going to screw up again. "But we know, we know, you want the internet & we're working [sic] it."
Here's what I wrote the last time this happened:
Too bad there isn't another option, like, a non-corporate-overlord internet provider that we could do more than bitch about! Except there could be. Upgrade Seattle, a group advocating for a city-run gigabit internet network, sent me this statement: "Our condolences on the death of your internet. This is why we need a strong, accountable municipal internet service throughout Seattle." Over to you, Mayor Ed Murray.
The city's Department of Information Technology, under former Microsoft and PricewaterhouseCoopers manager Michael Mattmiller, commissioned a CTC Engineering study on municipal broadband last year. Mattmiller had told me it would be completed in April—now it's over a month overdue.
Mattmiller and the office of Mayor Ed Murray did not respond to requests for comment on the Comcast outage.
UPDATE 5:32 p.m.: Unlike in the April outage, Comcast says it is proactively offering affected customers a refund. Perhaps the company is feeling the heat.
In a statement, Michael Mattmiller said he encourages customers to request refunds and included this link to the city's Cable Customer Bill of Rights.