News

Internet outage stretches into Day 2

Severed Comcast line cut off internet access to 13,000 customers in Mountain View

If the internet is the lifeblood of Mountain View, then the city is in bad shape.

Much of Mountain View is facing the second day of a citywide internet outage affecting Comcast customers. The outage, which started on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 9, is reportedly impacting more than 13,000 households and businesses throughout the city, and it has disrupted the full suite of Comcast services, including internet, cable TV, and some cellphone lines.

The outage was caused by a traffic accident on Sunday afternoon in Mountain View's Sylvan Park neighborhood. A vehicle crashed into a utility pole between Highway 85 and Moorpark Way, bringing it down along with several spans of wire.

The crash caused a power outage for about 50 households. As of 6 a.m. this morning, PG&E said they had restored power.

For Comcast, the accident also severed a critical fiber optic line mounted to the same utility pole. Under normal circumstances, Comcast officials say they would reroute their services through a redundant line, but this breakage seems to have hit a weak point in their network. The company's representatives could not give a time estimate on when services would be restored.

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"This is our hugest priority right now and we're working diligently to get it fixed," Joan Hammel, Comcast senior director of communications, told the Voice. "We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, and we're doing our best."

The internet outage may be the worst in recent memory for the city. The hardest-hit customers appear to be those who bought bundle deals for Comcast TV, internet and phone service. All of those digital services are currently offline.

Among those customers is the Mountain View Whisman School District. On Monday morning, school district officials sent out a notice to parents warning that nearly all their communication methods were offline. District staff were resorting to walkie-talkie radios to stay in touch across campuses. Similarly, internet and email are also kaput at the Mountain View City Hall, although the city's phone lines remain operational.

A total of 12,716 residential customers and 1,246 businesses were impacted in the outage, according to Comcast. Despite the internet blackout, many of these customers still found a way to vent their frustrations online.

Tom Anderson, a Mountain View resident, said he was particularly irritated that Comcast had initially portrayed the outage as a quick fix. Throughout Sunday, the company kept pushing back their estimates on when service would be restored: first it was 12:30 p.m., then 6:30 p.m. he said. By Monday, Comcast was no longer giving any time estimates.

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For Anderson, the internet outage was hitting his pocketbook, severely limiting his ability to manage his short-term rental property. He suspects scores of other businesses were also impacted.

"People have businesses and livelihoods that depend on this." he said. "This is having a massive impact to the city."

As of 6 a.m. Monday morning, Comcast officials say their line workers were reportedly allowed to access the utility equipment along Highway 85 for repairs.

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Internet outage stretches into Day 2

Severed Comcast line cut off internet access to 13,000 customers in Mountain View

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Mon, Dec 10, 2018, 1:36 pm

If the internet is the lifeblood of Mountain View, then the city is in bad shape.

Much of Mountain View is facing the second day of a citywide internet outage affecting Comcast customers. The outage, which started on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 9, is reportedly impacting more than 13,000 households and businesses throughout the city, and it has disrupted the full suite of Comcast services, including internet, cable TV, and some cellphone lines.

The outage was caused by a traffic accident on Sunday afternoon in Mountain View's Sylvan Park neighborhood. A vehicle crashed into a utility pole between Highway 85 and Moorpark Way, bringing it down along with several spans of wire.

The crash caused a power outage for about 50 households. As of 6 a.m. this morning, PG&E said they had restored power.

For Comcast, the accident also severed a critical fiber optic line mounted to the same utility pole. Under normal circumstances, Comcast officials say they would reroute their services through a redundant line, but this breakage seems to have hit a weak point in their network. The company's representatives could not give a time estimate on when services would be restored.

"This is our hugest priority right now and we're working diligently to get it fixed," Joan Hammel, Comcast senior director of communications, told the Voice. "We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused, and we're doing our best."

The internet outage may be the worst in recent memory for the city. The hardest-hit customers appear to be those who bought bundle deals for Comcast TV, internet and phone service. All of those digital services are currently offline.

Among those customers is the Mountain View Whisman School District. On Monday morning, school district officials sent out a notice to parents warning that nearly all their communication methods were offline. District staff were resorting to walkie-talkie radios to stay in touch across campuses. Similarly, internet and email are also kaput at the Mountain View City Hall, although the city's phone lines remain operational.

A total of 12,716 residential customers and 1,246 businesses were impacted in the outage, according to Comcast. Despite the internet blackout, many of these customers still found a way to vent their frustrations online.

Tom Anderson, a Mountain View resident, said he was particularly irritated that Comcast had initially portrayed the outage as a quick fix. Throughout Sunday, the company kept pushing back their estimates on when service would be restored: first it was 12:30 p.m., then 6:30 p.m. he said. By Monday, Comcast was no longer giving any time estimates.

For Anderson, the internet outage was hitting his pocketbook, severely limiting his ability to manage his short-term rental property. He suspects scores of other businesses were also impacted.

"People have businesses and livelihoods that depend on this." he said. "This is having a massive impact to the city."

As of 6 a.m. Monday morning, Comcast officials say their line workers were reportedly allowed to access the utility equipment along Highway 85 for repairs.

Comments

Elena
Castro City
on Dec 10, 2018 at 1:53 pm
Elena, Castro City
on Dec 10, 2018 at 1:53 pm

I never had an internet outage this long without a winter storm not included. I work from home and was impacted today. I hope Comcast can get it together and make sure this never happens again.


Cannot call 911
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2018 at 1:54 pm
Cannot call 911, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2018 at 1:54 pm

Money is one thing. If the elderly woman who fell last week and called were to do the same last night, she would still be there with no way to get help.

This is a very real life and death situation for many.


Worker
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2018 at 2:14 pm
Worker, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2018 at 2:14 pm

My whole company cannot get vital work done...this is awful.


g8teach
Blossom Valley
on Dec 10, 2018 at 2:21 pm
g8teach , Blossom Valley
on Dec 10, 2018 at 2:21 pm

Yet another reason why MV city council needs to approve more than 2 ISP’s for our city. Both Comcast and AT&T have no incentive to do things better, and provide excellent service because there is no competition for these businesses Yes, Google Fiber is finally approved , but there is no time line for roll out to the community. So that doesn’t help and AT&T has been promising Gig speeds, but not in our neighborhood.So for goodness sake City Council please take some action so that this will not be a problem in the future.


Richard
Waverly Park
on Dec 10, 2018 at 2:21 pm
Richard, Waverly Park
on Dec 10, 2018 at 2:21 pm

A small conciliation for those of us still without phone/TV/Internet: Get a $20 credit/day on your Comcast bill due to the outage. I doubt they'll do it automatically for all those effected, but they will if you ask. Using your cell phone, go to www.xfinity.com/support/contact-us and select "Chat". You give them your name and address and tell them you want a credit on your bill for the hours/days that the system is/was down.


Local resident
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2018 at 2:40 pm
Local resident, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2018 at 2:40 pm

Comcast kept telling us that our router was having an issue and we should wait for the intervention of a technician at our apartment. They should really stop taking their costumers for fools.

Although, as their only serious competition in MTV is ATT, they have no incentive to do so. Also, if Comcast spent the money they use for lobbying on making their network redundant the problem would never have occurred.

Comcast should be ashamed of the service and assistance they bring. They do not care at all about the affected businesses and elderly people in our community.


mvresident
Cuernavaca
on Dec 10, 2018 at 2:44 pm
mvresident, Cuernavaca
on Dec 10, 2018 at 2:44 pm

Yes, contact Comcast for your credits! And use them for your final bill. IMHO Comcast is the worst. Call a satellite provider for TV, etc., And don't depend on a single company for all your services.


AC
Registered user
another community
on Dec 10, 2018 at 2:45 pm
AC, another community
Registered user
on Dec 10, 2018 at 2:45 pm

I couldn't call my dentist this morning. What if someone else had the same problem with their doctor? That's really awful.


A Talking Cat
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Dec 10, 2018 at 2:53 pm
A Talking Cat, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Dec 10, 2018 at 2:53 pm

Mine literally just came back on as this article was being published. :D

I agree with others, though: The problem is that Comcast support didn't know there was a massive outage, and told me that the problem was my "old modem". Funny how a quick internet search can give us more information than anyone working at Comcast!


Don Keedick
Registered user
Cuesta Park
on Dec 10, 2018 at 3:05 pm
Don Keedick, Cuesta Park
Registered user
on Dec 10, 2018 at 3:05 pm
HomeisOffice
Cuesta Park
on Dec 10, 2018 at 3:13 pm
HomeisOffice, Cuesta Park
on Dec 10, 2018 at 3:13 pm

It is a shame that AT&T and Comcast have lobbied to keep other services off of the utility poles they use. Otherwise we could have had GIG speeds the first time Google offered them.


MVPerson
Old Mountain View
on Dec 10, 2018 at 3:28 pm
MVPerson, Old Mountain View
on Dec 10, 2018 at 3:28 pm

Sorry, somebody (Comcast) is hiding something. The outage was already happening as of Sunday AM....


7x7native
Rengstorff Park
on Dec 10, 2018 at 3:28 pm
7x7native, Rengstorff Park
on Dec 10, 2018 at 3:28 pm

Richard, thank you for the info on the service credit. I jiust finished up a "chat" with Xfinity. They will issue the credit when the outage is cleared up. Comcast customers, be sure to get your chat ID# and have them attached the info to your account. Thankfully I have AT&T for cellular and wifi so I am not as isolated as many of you are.


Alex M
Willowgate
on Dec 10, 2018 at 3:39 pm
Alex M, Willowgate
on Dec 10, 2018 at 3:39 pm

I'm curious how all you folks affected by the outage are posting comments to this article?

This article was the first I've heard of the problem. My workplace isn't affected, and neither is my home internet service (AT&T U-verse).


LBJ
Castro City
on Dec 10, 2018 at 3:46 pm
LBJ, Castro City
on Dec 10, 2018 at 3:46 pm

In the 3 years we've had ATT, they've never gone down on us. Had Comcast previously and there seemed to be more outages / issues. My .02 anyway.


MVPerson 2
Old Mountain View
on Dec 10, 2018 at 3:47 pm
MVPerson 2, Old Mountain View
on Dec 10, 2018 at 3:47 pm

Agreed with "MVPerson" above, our TV and internet went down around 11am yesterday not yesterday afternoon. Hopefully just a mistake regarding the time of the accident and not an (incorrect) assumption regarding the cause of the outage.


Abigail A
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2018 at 4:07 pm
Abigail A, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2018 at 4:07 pm

The Mountain View Los Altos high school district had no internet as well


Rose Bergeron
Rex Manor
on Dec 10, 2018 at 4:08 pm
Rose Bergeron, Rex Manor
on Dec 10, 2018 at 4:08 pm

How did the driver take down a utility pole? Were they flying down Moorpark or did they crash off of the freeway? I'm hearing a lot of outrage about Comcast not recovering from damaged equipment and zero about the reckless driving that almost certainly caused the outage. Are we all that immune to bad driving and car crashes that we skip right over the damage careless drivers cause?


Common sense
Registered user
Old Mountain View
on Dec 10, 2018 at 4:12 pm
Common sense, Old Mountain View
Registered user
on Dec 10, 2018 at 4:12 pm

"Local resident" wrote "Although, as their only serious competition in MTV is ATT. . ."

I don't know what criterion the writer had in mind for "serious competition" -- it might be true of you are seeking the very highest download speeds, constantly streaming multiple independent video signals or whatever.

But FYI, those two firms are *far* from being the only high-speed internet providers serving Mountain View! I've never used either, and have happily used two others for many years (one DSL, one wide-area wireless accessible most anywhere). You can easily find those and other competitors by searching online.


MV Mark
Blossom Valley
on Dec 10, 2018 at 4:13 pm
MV Mark, Blossom Valley
on Dec 10, 2018 at 4:13 pm

Typo in Headline - I'm sure that the writer meant "Internet outrage stretches into Day 2"


Gard
Blossom Valley
on Dec 10, 2018 at 4:18 pm
Gard, Blossom Valley
on Dec 10, 2018 at 4:18 pm

Our service here in Blossom Valley went down around 7:30pm last night. My $7/month cell phone let me know that the fix would not be quick. It sounds to me like it was fairly fast considering the damage and the weekend.


Poppadop
Willowgate
on Dec 10, 2018 at 4:27 pm
Poppadop, Willowgate
on Dec 10, 2018 at 4:27 pm

I am sincerely sorry for all those impacted by the outage, but your opening sentence is ludicrous: Saying the City of Mountain View is in "bad shape" because an accident disrupted internet service is sophomoric journalism, at best. A good editor would have deleted that hyperbolic line and allowed the article to begin with the second paragraph.


Need old schoool landlines
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2018 at 4:28 pm
Need old schoool landlines , Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2018 at 4:28 pm

Makes s case for real landlines.


Interested
Martens-Carmelita
on Dec 10, 2018 at 4:59 pm
Interested, Martens-Carmelita
on Dec 10, 2018 at 4:59 pm

My area had been out since late morning of Sunday, and just got back on this late afternoon. The annoying thing is that when you call (on your cell) it is all automated and ridiculous. Then they say the recording says are sorry for the outage and "if you have any more questions you can check on our website". REALLY?? How would that work??
Our MV Council needs to push Google to provide fiber internet in Mountain View. Google gets a LOT of special handling in this city and they need to pay back the citizens by getting this DONE. We are their home city, and they instead set up Google Fiber elsewhere in the U.S. They need to do it HERE.


SAMA
Cuesta Park
on Dec 10, 2018 at 5:37 pm
SAMA, Cuesta Park
on Dec 10, 2018 at 5:37 pm

@Rose Bergeron,
The real issue is not the driver who took out the pole, but improper Comcast network planning that allowed one taken down pole take down significant portion of the network. All Wide Area Networks are designed to withstand at least one major node or line failure. Here one line interruption left the a few neighborhoods without communication.


Partially Up
Old Mountain View
on Dec 10, 2018 at 5:40 pm
Partially Up, Old Mountain View
on Dec 10, 2018 at 5:40 pm

We have TV and Internet. The internet is back up and local channels are broadcasting. Still no premium channels like ESPN.


PeaceLove
Shoreline West
on Dec 10, 2018 at 5:51 pm
PeaceLove, Shoreline West
on Dec 10, 2018 at 5:51 pm

I strongly recommend switching to Sonic.com for your internet. They're not as blazing fast as Comcast but they're local (based out of Santa Rosa) and they are EFF's top-rated ISP when it comes to protecting user privacy. Web Link

Plus, they answer the damn phone when you call and you can talk to an actual intelligent human with agency whenever you have a problem.

Related: I cut the cable cord years ago and never look back. One of the best things you can do for your mental and spiritual health is to #DeleteComcast from your life.


Margaret Hutz
Old Mountain View
on Dec 10, 2018 at 6:18 pm
Margaret Hutz, Old Mountain View
on Dec 10, 2018 at 6:18 pm

I certainly agree about using other ISPs. I have Sonic for Internet and landline (DSL); Credo for cell phone. So my only inconvenience was TV.

Yes, City of Mt. View definitely needs to get Google to step up with fiber service, and it definitely needs better back up. Ditto school districts. I have both cell and land line "just in case." Didn't lose either one this time, but who knows what will go out next time?


DC
Sylvan Park
on Dec 10, 2018 at 7:28 pm
DC, Sylvan Park
on Dec 10, 2018 at 7:28 pm

I can see the damaged power pole. Yes it a just regular power pole but the PG&E power line damage seems to have taken out the Comcast fiber line on the same pole. Not a great design but this is a crowded neighborhood with limited utilities lines available (HW 85). I was wondering why the blocked roads and numerous trucks were around. I must be north of the damage because Cable TV and phone are working fine.


Caryn Coleman
Registered user
Castro City
on Dec 10, 2018 at 7:39 pm
Caryn Coleman, Castro City
Registered user
on Dec 10, 2018 at 7:39 pm

They told me it was 6.98 for both days. Plus all the things everyone else has said.


Worker
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2018 at 7:57 pm
Worker, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 10, 2018 at 7:57 pm

Internet is still out at office (7:55 pm). @AlexM: I am posting on my cellphone via Sprint.


words have meaning
Rex Manor
on Dec 10, 2018 at 8:41 pm
words have meaning, Rex Manor
on Dec 10, 2018 at 8:41 pm

"We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused,"

Don't you love the weasel words used by corporations, ripe with contempt for bothersome customers? The PR person should also slip in the words "allegedly" and "purportedly", and roll her eyes on camera.


Vexed
Shoreline West
on Dec 10, 2018 at 9:15 pm
Vexed, Shoreline West
on Dec 10, 2018 at 9:15 pm

Primary issues:

1. Comcast didn’t proactively notify its customers of a widespread outage with a text/call like PG&E does. They didn’t announce anything at all, anywhere.

2. A company as large as Comcast would be able to provide a safe estimated fix (for something like broken fiber on a downed utility pole) — but didn’t. They are not ignorant on these issues.

3. They would periodically update customers about status. They never did. I called in twice and requestsd text updates both times, never got one update from them, even after it was back up.

4. They would proactively follow up with affected customers and offer an apology with service credits. Hasn’t happened and doubt they will.

Very dissappointing. Mountain View deserves better customer service for what we pay and choices we have.


night walk8r
Old Mountain View
on Dec 10, 2018 at 11:43 pm
night walk8r, Old Mountain View
on Dec 10, 2018 at 11:43 pm

Hurry up with the FIBER.


Getting Fed up with Comcast
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 11, 2018 at 8:24 am
Getting Fed up with Comcast, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 11, 2018 at 8:24 am

Ya kinda think that Google, assuming it wants to remain (or *become*, depending on your opinion) a good corporate neighbor, would prioritize getting its fiber into MV. So, a question the city can and should be asking that business behemoth is this:

What's taking so long?

(PS: It took me this long to post the above comment because -- you guessed it -- our Comcast 'net connection was down until last night!)


mv voice reader
Martens-Carmelita
on Dec 11, 2018 at 10:41 am
mv voice reader, Martens-Carmelita
on Dec 11, 2018 at 10:41 am

my tv and internet were out for 2 days ... i called comcast 4 times ... these are the answers i got from comcast customer service:

1) there is no outage ... we don't see one
2) we have an outage affecting 500 people
3) i can schedule a technician to come out and check your system
4) please unplug your modem and plug it back in again

i am not making this up ... comcast customer service was clueless as to what was going on ... and there phone tree says "do you have TV?" , "do you have internet?" ... there is no option to say BOTH !!!!!!!!!!! ... plus, they tell you to log-on and check status for a service interruption ... and how do i do that in an outage ?? ... comcast customer service is pathetic ...


Neighbor
Old Mountain View
on Dec 11, 2018 at 10:59 am
Neighbor, Old Mountain View
on Dec 11, 2018 at 10:59 am

Correction: Day 3 of Internet Outage

When water, electricity etc. are turned off, you are contacted by the service provider. Internet providers are not obligated to extend the same courtesy. Also, what is taking so long?


Reader X
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 11, 2018 at 12:43 pm
Reader X, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 11, 2018 at 12:43 pm

Guys, Google Fiber is a dead stick.

They laid off some employees over 2 years ago and halted all expansion.

Web Link

Don't hold your breath waiting for fiber to your doorstep. And it won't be Google who brings it to you.

As for the question about how people are posting to this site, yeah, some people go to offices where they have the Internet. In fact, residential broadband Internet is a relative newcomer. The Internet started at major universities and government agencies. I guess some people seem to be blissfully unaware that Internet is available outside of the house.

Also, some people have the Internet on their phones. This is called cellular data.

Anyhow, like some others here, I am enjoying my Sonic DSL broadband access. A way better business than the cable company.


The rats at my cable.
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 11, 2018 at 3:19 pm
The rats at my cable., Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Dec 11, 2018 at 3:19 pm

Our comcast would die everyday around 3pm for about 20 min, finally had a Comcast support guy come out, he glanced under the house and determined that "rats are likely chewing on the cable" (at 3pm every day?). I did not know rats could tell time. The guy was useless.


AlV
Registered user
Waverly Park
on Dec 11, 2018 at 7:37 pm
AlV, Waverly Park
Registered user
on Dec 11, 2018 at 7:37 pm

Comcast just gave me the automated call I requested that service has been restored, more than 24 hours after it was actually restored.


Unhappy Xfinity Customer
Old Mountain View
on Dec 15, 2018 at 1:06 pm
Unhappy Xfinity Customer, Old Mountain View
on Dec 15, 2018 at 1:06 pm

I tried following Richard's suggestion (thanks) to chat with them for a credit. I got back $2.90 (1/31 of my bill). I explained my time restarting modem, computer, etc. was worth more. They replied that they'd already rounded up to a day, as the outage was less than a day. I said I'd share the result here.


mvresident
Cuernavaca
on Dec 16, 2018 at 3:00 pm
mvresident, Cuernavaca
on Dec 16, 2018 at 3:00 pm

So, now that the dust has settled on this outage, who plans to make a change? Was this a wake up call for anyone? Or was this just something that made you complain for a while, and then wait until the next inconvenience?


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