Update: AT&T U-Verse Blames Server for 'Limited' Outage

Update: AT&T U-Verse Blames Server for 'Limited' Outage
A technician installs AT&T's U-Verse service at a home.

AT&T's U-verse system appeared to be experiencing widespread outages on Monday and Tuesday throughout the southern United States, including Arkansas.

Anita Smith, an AT&T spokesman for Arkansas, released the following statement by email: "We’re having an issue with a server that supports U-verse. The issue has impacted a limited number of customers in some of our Southwest and Southeast region states. We have been working around the clock and are making progress on resolving the issue. We apologize for any inconvenience to our customers."

The company provided no explanation for the cause of the outage of its U-verse system, which includes phone, Internet and television. According to the U-verse Twitter page, customers could possibly remedy the outage by powering off and restarting their modems.

Customers have also flooded AT&T's Facebook page community support forums to report their outages, with complaints hailing from states including Arkansas, Georgia, Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina, North Carolina, Tennessee, Mississippi, Florida, Kentucky, Alabama and Oklahoma. A number of them said they had experienced U-verse outages since Monday. Many of these customers have reported that the restart fix suggested by U-verse support was not working.

On the community forum of DSLReports.com, one commenter said that all U-verse services in El Paso, Texas, had been down for the last 24 hours. Other customers on social media platforms reported similar lengthy outages.

The Consumerist website said the problem appeared to be limited to U-verse and not with AT&T's landline or wireless services.

On Tuesday morning, an AT&T customer service representative told Arkansas Business the company was experiencing outages in "the Southeast and the Southwest."

A visitor to the company's community forum page identified himself as being in Fayetteville and posted the following:

"No service (phone, internet, tv) since at least 1/21 at 3:00pm and earlier. Others in Fayetteville, AR have service. I foolishly chose yesterday morning to unplug our RG. We plugged it back in at 3:00pm and have been without service since. I agree with the other posters that ATT has handled this very poorly. Communication is key and there has been none. I think most of us would like to be kept informed. Something as simple as an outage map would be extremely helpful. Also, letting cutomers know what is being done would be great, even if there is no time estimate, although that would be nice too. It's bad enough to lose all service (rethinking the whole bundling thing), but it's much worse having no idea what's happening."

Ellen, an Arkansas Business reader who did not wish to release her last name, sent us a reply to the above comment.

"Regarding U-Verse and its (lack of) communication regarding the current outage, I agree with the fellow in Fayetteville, and makes me question the wisdom of "'bundling,' she said. "I was on my cell phone for nearly an hour last night just trying to find if this was just my problem, a neighborhood situation, or a more widespread one. Finally talked to someone (India or the Philippines probably) who told me there were 'outages in Florida and other places.'"

The websites of newspapers from the Charlotte Observer to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to the Miami Herald to the Houston Chronicle relayed reports of the outage and were abuzz with AT&T U-verse customer complaints.

The website LightReading.com, which reports on the telecom industry, said that AT&T was maintaining silence "over what appears to be a major U-verse outage that began during the morning of Jan. 21 and which appears to have affected a substantial number of customers across the southern states of the U.S."

Numerous customers posted their complaints about the service disruption and the lack of information on AT&T's Facebook page, with one saying, "What gives? What happened? When can you estimate services will be back up? What kind of rebate should we expect? A free movie is not going to cut it this time."

Ted Clouser, executive vice president of PC Assistance Inc. in Little Rock, said some of his clients had been experiencing outages.

"There's not a specific area that seems to be affected," he said. "So it probably has to be a piece of hardware failure somewhere."

Clouser said his personal U-verse network went down on Tuesday, but was only inoperative for about 40 minutes. When he reset his modem, he said, the console was trying to connect to a server.

"I truly wasn't connected," he said. "To me, I've got to believe that it was a physical issue somewhere."