Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Uverse outage

So this isn't one of my normal posts at all.

AT&T Uverse is experiencing a massive network failure. I've just been on the phone with Phil who is apparently a supervisor with one of their server teams.

I was talking to him because their customer service during this event has been absolutely terrible and they haven't gotten information out to their customers. I may write something about that tomorrow, but for right now I've got people waiting on some information, so I'm going to try and focus.

I am not a tech guy on this level at all. I'm not a systems engineer. I'm just transcribing the notes that Phil gave me.

Basically, the network has a few relevant junctures. Your house, your box gets connected to the DSLAM. All the DSLAMs in an area get connected to a VHO which basically ends up being a hub for the DLAMs. The VHOs then connect to what was described to me as a big antenna. There has been (probably) a software problem (possibly a firmware upgrade gone wrong) that has clogged up the connection between the VHOs and the antenna. This is making the signal very weak, which is why most service is down, but some people are getting limited service... some of it is managing to trickle through the clog.

Apparently lots of people in Texas already have their service back, and it should start rolling back tonight and tomorrow through the rest of the network. I brought up the concern that because of the nature of the failure, that they would have to manually go to each gateway and clear it up. Phil said this is not the case and that they should be able to handle everything remotely.

He did stress that this should be fixed soon, or at least soon-ish.

I also pointed out that the customer service side of this, both with their public releases and their social media teams have done a very poor job getting information to people, and that it has cost them customers. I urge everyone who has the patience for sitting on hold to do the same. AT&T needs to get on top of their customer service failure and do a better job. It also may be beneficial to your bill if you call them and express frustration without getting angry and yelling at people. Remember, the person you are talking to didn't cause this, and really can't do much to fix it. They might be able to help you out though, so be nice.

alright... that's all the news I have... time to sign off, drive home and go to bed.

peace, love and biscuits.

Also, I told Phil I'd work on getting this out to people. #ReTweetForPhil