AT&T cites power problem in U-verse outage

Some users say the outage lasted about three hours and affected both TV and Internet service

A power problem caused a widespread outage on AT&T's U-verse broadband service Monday that some customers said affected both TV and Internet service.

"Earlier today, a power-related issue caused a loss of some TV channels for U-verse customers," AT&T spokesman Mark Siegel said via email around midday, Pacific Time. "Technicians worked to quickly resolve the issue and about 95 percent of impacted channels are restored, with remaining channels coming back up. We apologize for this inconvenience."

Comments from the carrier's @uverse Twitter account earlier had said the problem apparently knocked out national TV channels. But numerous commenters on Twitter and user forums said they had lost U-verse Internet and local TV service as well. Several said the service interruption had lasted about three hours.

User reports of outages rose sharply soon after 10 a.m. Eastern Time and peaked at 2,608 reports about an hour later, according to Downdetector.com, which monitors social media and other sources for information about online service failures. The number of incoming reports had dropped below 300 by about 1 p.m. Eastern Time.

AT&T declined to comment on Internet outages that subscribers reported.

U-verse is AT&T's high-speed Internet and TV service, which is delivered primarily over so-called "fiber to the curb," with traditional copper lines running from the fiber hub to homes and businesses. AT&T advertises more than 510 TV channels and Internet plans ranging from 3Mbps (bits per second) to 45Mbps downstream. At the end of last year, the company claimed 10.7 million U-verse subscribers, including users of both the TV and Internet services.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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