NEW YORK -- Time Warner Cable says a problem that occurred during routine maintenance caused a nationwide outage of its Internet service for hours on Wednesday morning.
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. It happened during “routine network maintenance,” Time Warner said in a release.
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.
Between 7 and 9 a.m., Time Warner’s customer service Twitter account responded to dozens of tweets from customers who wondered when their service would return. The cable and Internet provider operates in 29 states and has been no stranger to customer complaints in the recent past.
Time Warner was ranked second in a Ranker.com user poll of companies with the worst customer service. AT&T topped the list, which was voted on by over 4,500 people. MSN Money also placed Time Warner in their 2013 Customer Service Hall of Shame article, which is made up of 10 companies annually.
Time Warner Cable, which has about 11.4 million high-speed data subscribers, is in the process of being bought by rival Comcast Corp. for $45 billion. The merger is awaiting approval from the FCC, which is expected to come in 2015.
On Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission said Time Warner Cable, based in New York, would pay $1.1 million to resolve outage reporting violations.
Many Tri-State residents report seeing their service restored as of 7 a.m.
The Scripps National Content Team contributed to this report.