Windstream (NYSE:WIN, news, filings) earned itself a service black eye yesterday with a widespread outage of their voice network. Customers across their footprint lost access to at least long distance and toll free services for much of the afternoon, with enterprises that depend on inbound calls particularly hard hit. Windstream’s data networks and internet access remained up.
First reported in southern Florida in the late morning, the incident spread to cover customers across a wide swath of Windstream’s incumbent turf and was apparently not resolved until late afternoon. Not many details were available as to the cause, but a switch failure was mentioned as the immediate cause for the Florida problem. Further references pointed to a software update that didn’t go very well and which they had to roll back. Perhaps they’ll explain further today.
The PSTN is supposed to be the reliable one, five nines and all that. So when it went down in the era of social media and left customers unable to even call customer support, Windstream’s Facebook page and Twitter presence were soon under siege. Such things do happen of course, but in the old days it wasn’t so public. They should have tried VoIP – apparently inbound VoIP calls were unaffected according to anecdotal evidence over on DSLReports.
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