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NY Gov. Cuomo orders review of Time Warner-Comcast merger after massive Internet outage


New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has ordered an investigation into Time Warner Cable's Internet outage and possible merger with Comcast.

Cuomo made the announcement in a Wednesday afternoon press release following the nationwide service interruption that affected millions of customers for about 90 minutes ending at 6:00 a.m. EST.

Time Warner blamed the outage on a problem during system maintenance, but the governor was non-plussed and says there needs to be more oversight into the industry as Time Warner looks to merge with rival Comcast.

"Today's widespread Internet outage that has apparently impacted more than 11 million customers at Time Warner – which is based in New York – is a stark reminder that our economy is increasingly dependent on a reliable broadband network," said Cuomo.

The governor cited this as a reason for wanting a standards review earlier this year.

"I have directed the New York State Department of Public Service to investigate this outage as part of its review of Comcast's proposed merger with Time Warner," Cuomo said. "The Department will also review whether the outage affected Time Warner's provision of telephone service in any way."

Time Warner provides cable television, Internet and digital phone service as part of a "Triple Play" bundle, a practice common among cable operators.

Cuomo also said increased scrutiny will lead to the exploration of "changes to the regulatory landscape" of companies providing telephone, Internet and cable services.

"Dependable Internet service is a vital link in our daily lives and telecommunications companies have a responsibility to deliver reliable service to their customers."

Cuomo's terse statement came as the company said it is still investigating the cause of the problem. Time Warner earlier in the day claimed its Internet backbone which links all networks together, was to blame.

Tim Farrar, an analyst at TMF Associates told the Associated Press there are major outages of at least one telecom provider every year, although typically they aren't fully national.

"AT&T had a major outage back in April, Comcast had one last October. Verizon Wireless had several national outages on its 4G network back in 2012," he said. "Usually it is related to bugs in new technology, and occasionally to routine maintenance where someone did something wrong."

A $45 billion purchase of Time Warner by Comcast is currently under federal review. Time Warner has about 11.4 million high-speed data subscribers in 29 states across the nation. Both companies routinely rank among the most-hated by American consumers.

The FCC said Tuesday, only one day prior to the outage, that Time Warner Cable would be fined $1.1 million over previous outage reporting violations after ruling the cable company did not report such disruptions in a "timely manner."

It was required to submit a three-year compliance plan as part of the ruling.

Time Warner Cable Hit By Service Outage For Almost Two Hours

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Join the discussion

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epeter6603 August 27 2014 at 3:05 PM

Must be close to the elections.

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2 replies
elysianfields08 epeter6603 August 27 2014 at 4:18 PM

Gentleman . We have to protect our phoney baloney jobs

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2 replies
epeter6603 elysianfields08 August 27 2014 at 5:12 PM

I didn't get a harumph out of you.

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zap.rowsdower elysianfields08 August 28 2014 at 9:26 AM

Give the governor a harumph!

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tatersalad03 epeter6603 August 28 2014 at 11:38 AM

The affairs of state must take precedence over the affairs of state.
Oh wait a minute...that was Spitzer.

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Pat August 27 2014 at 3:29 PM

just another weak liberal attempting to throw around his useless power ... LOL

hey Cuomo ... how was your state's success on that unlawful POTUS's Obamacare website outage ???

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3 replies
kjmooney59 August 27 2014 at 4:41 PM

New Yorkers are leaving in droves due to the high cost of living and a cable outage gets Cuomo's panties in a bunch? Seriously Mr Cuomo, I think you have bigger problems then a few people missing whats new on YouTube with their morning coffee.

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1 reply
bill_jones86 kjmooney59 August 28 2014 at 12:37 PM

well put.... people are bailing from vermont by the droves

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TB August 27 2014 at 3:46 PM

It would do a lot more good to look at Cuomo's dealings. He is almost shady enough to be a member of Pinocchio Obama'a Team Incompetence.

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1 reply
muzzie123 TB August 28 2014 at 1:00 PM

100 & right on

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bigcatdaddy August 27 2014 at 3:10 PM

Lets see here. Service was lost for about 90 minutes and Cuomo the clown orders a big investigation. It is good to know that New York has so few problems that they need to investigate a 90 minute interruption of service.

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2 replies
Pat bigcatdaddy August 27 2014 at 3:30 PM

Cuomo couldn't download his PORN ...

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mivogo bigcatdaddy August 27 2014 at 3:41 PM

We still don't have service, 10 hours later. Our modem mysteriously went bonkers at the moment TWC went out and hasn't recovered. Why can't we switch companies if dissatisfied? Why the monopoly? Enough!

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PappyHappy August 27 2014 at 3:35 PM

Governor Andrew is appearing STRESSED!

Why won't the New York Times endorse him? What do they know that we do not know?

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1 reply
Erik PappyHappy August 27 2014 at 6:14 PM

Depends on what you don't know. His shutting down an ethics investigation of . . . Andrew Cuomo? His contribution to the fiscal crisis: as HUD secretary he pressured Fannie Mae to buy/insure subprime loans?

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Linda August 27 2014 at 3:38 PM

I have Time Warner triple play and had no outage. In any case, a 90-minute outage is no reason for an investigation. Stuff happens. Cuomo should be more concerned with truly important issues.

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2 replies
kstwrtkr3 Linda August 27 2014 at 5:03 PM

It's not the time of the outage, it's the scale. 11 million users lost it at one time. Stock markets & companies rely on the internet now. If it goes out for a long period of time, millions of dollars could be lost. If it's not a big deal, they should just tell us why it happened, not blow it off with a maintenance excuse.

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crittercit Linda August 28 2014 at 11:34 AM

unless it was done on purpose.

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mightykelso August 27 2014 at 3:35 PM

He ought to think about why the NYT failed to endorse him.

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fullblowngrafx August 28 2014 at 11:41 AM

F-U Cuomo you Nazi POS !!! Crawl under a rock out of site and DIE... You ruin this State and the citizens of this state. You are a POS

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1 reply
art fullblowngrafx August 28 2014 at 2:05 PM

i was wondering who the real pos was but open mouths are quite revealing..

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1 reply
fullblowncustoms art August 28 2014 at 7:28 PM

Artie B. Liberal d-bag

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tenhmg August 27 2014 at 4:26 PM

Doesn't the governor have something more important to do?? Now hes going to investigate every company that has a minor problem occur There have been internet outages since the beginning of internet....now he wants it 100% foolproff.....or an increase in his take!!!

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1 reply
rightwayaircond tenhmg August 27 2014 at 4:27 PM

Was he demanding this for healthcare.gov malfunctions?

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