TWC explains outage as DirecTV quietly experiences its own technical issues

As Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) looked to explain why nearly 12 million of its broadband customers went without service Wednesday morning, Aug. 27, DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV) quietly dealt with an outage of its own, albeit one that only affected local broadcast channels.

According to TVPredictions, DirecTV subscribers in the Midwest, and as far south as Atlanta, complained of disruptions to local channel viewing Thursday morning, with DirecTV responding to the complaints via its service account on Twitter.

Three hours later, the satellite operator tweeted back that the issues had been resolved. So far, DirecTV has yet to issue a statement indicating what the problem was.

DirecTV's relatively low-key technical issue added to a busy week of service interruptions for pay-TV operators, with millions of Charter Communications (NASDAQ: CHTR) broadband users kicked off the Internet over the weekend.

This was followed by a major service interruption for Time Warner Cable broadband users, with the TWC releasing a follow-up statement explaining the issue.

"During an overnight network maintenance activity in which we were managing IP addresses, an erroneous configuration was propagated throughout our national backbone, resulting in a network outage," the statement reads. "We immediately identified and corrected the root cause of the issue and restored service by 7:30 a.m. ET. We apologize for any inconvenience this caused our customers. A failure of this size is very serious and we are taking the necessary steps to improve our processes with the objective of making sure this doesn't happen again."

Not surprisingly, critics of the proposed Comcast/TWC merger leveraged the outage to issue a new round of rebukes, with the Los Angeles Times quoting Steve Beck, founder of management consulting firm CG42. "This is just another challenge Time Warner and Comcast face in overcoming a customer environment that is fraught with frustration and misery," he told the paper.

For more:
- read this TVPredictions story
- read this Los Angeles Times story

Related links:
Charter ISP customers cope with major weekend service disruptions
TWC service outage hits 12M subs, even as FCC slaps on $1.1M fine for past outages
Time Warner Cable restores phone service to 800,000 subscribers impacted by outage