Internet users from Brooklyn to Philadelphia suffered slow to nonexistent service Saturday after equipment at a New York-area network hub broke down, disrupting service for several hours.
A spokesman for the Internet service provider Level 3 Communications Inc. said technicians were working quickly to fix the outage, which cascaded down to customers using Cablevision Systems Corp.’s Optimum service and Time Warner Cable Inc., among others.
“Maintaining a high-performing, efficient network for customers is our top priority,” Level 3 spokesman Jon Paul McLeary said. “At this time, we do not have an estimated time when service will be restored.”
Spokespeople for Cablevision and Time Warner Cable didn’t immediately respond to calls for comment.
Level 3 carries Internet traffic for large corporations and other Internet service providers, which puts it in control of a major swath of the Internet’s backbone. The company scored a high-profile contract during the summer when it unseated AT&T Inc. as the service provider for Starbucks Corp.’s more than 7,000 U.S. stores, part of a partnership with Google Inc.
Internet companies deal with equipment failures on a regular basis. Technicians usually keep spare parts nearby and can minimize the impact of replacing them by announcing the bad routes to other network operators.
It wasn’t immediately clear Saturday why traffic from cable subscribers in New York and New Jersey wasn’t rerouted around Level 3. Customers reported that some sites, such as Facebook and Twitter, were unavailable, while other Web addresses reached subscribers smoothly.
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