Make us your home page
Instagram

Widespread Bright House service outages blamed on 'software bug'

Much of the Tampa Bay area had a busy signal Tuesday as Bright House Networks grappled with widespread service outages.

Internet signals went dead. Cable programs froze. Businesses couldn't run credit card machines. Internal phone lines at the Pinellas Sheriff's Office went down. Even local libraries were affected.

Starting at about 10:40 a.m. Tuesday, Bright House customers throughout Pinellas, Pasco, Hernando, Hillsborough and Manatee counties were without phone, cable and high-speed Internet services.

Company officials said service was restored by about 5 p.m., though there were scattered reports from people who said they were still having problems Tuesday night.

One customer in Apollo Beach told the St. Petersburg Times he still didn't have service as late as 9 p.m., and some Twitter users in Tampa also reported they had no Internet.

Bright House officials said the heavy thunderstorms Tuesday morning had nothing to do with the service interruption. Instead, it was a computer issue.

"This was a software bug that caused a cascading effect," said Bright House spokesman Joe Durkin.

Durkin said it was unclear how many people lost service.

"We have well over a million customers in the Tampa market total," Durkin said. "Were they all affected? Of course not. Some areas were not affected."

As residents realized their service was out Tuesday, they took to social media to vent. They flooded sites like Facebook and Twitter with messages about the interruptions. Some even called the newspaper for help.

Some of Bright House's own phone lines were tied up, so people trying to call the company couldn't get through.

"They were continuously jammed," said Poul Hornsleth, president of R.W. Caldwell, Inc., a real estate and insurance company in Gulfport. "Fortunately, it was just a delay."

Even the company's news channel Bay News 9 was frozen midway through a weather forecaster's report.

Pinellas County workers, including those at the Sheriff's Office, said they experienced spotty service with their voice-over Internet phones, though 911 emergency functions were not affected.

"Many of us here in the office reverted to cell phones," spokeswoman Cecilia Barreda said.

That's what Apollo Beach resident Ken Cunningham had to do all day. The 59-year-old said he still didn't have TV, Internet or phone service as of 10 p.m. Tuesday. Cunningham, who said he has had about a dozen outages in the past few months, is fed up.

"It's not uncommon from time to time to have some kind of a problem with software or a piece of equipment," Durkin said. "This is probably a rare occurrence in size. … I've never seen anything that has risen to such a level."

Times staff writer Eric Deggans contributed to this report.

Widespread Bright House service outages blamed on 'software bug' 09/06/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 6, 2011 10:48pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa International named among least expensive airports

    News

    TAMPA — Florida airports apparently have a knack for getting it done cheaply.

    According to RewardExpert, Tampa International Airport is the fifth least expensive domestic airport. 
[CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times
 file photo]

  2. Tampa-based vXchnge secures $200M loan to expand operations

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Tampa-based vXchnge, which operates data centers in 14 metro areas, has secured a loan for roughly $200 million for "major expansions and enhancements."

    Tampa-based vXchnge, a data center provider, secured a $200 million loan. Pictured is CEO Keith Olsen. | [Courtesy of vXchnge]
  3. No toll lanes north of downtown Tampa in three of four interstate proposals

    Transportation

    TAMPA — Express lanes may not be coming to downtown Tampa after all. Or at least not to the stretch of Interstate 275 that goes north through Bearss Avenue.

    Seminole Heights resident Kimberly Overman discusses the new interstate options with V.M. Ybor resident Chris Vela (left), Hillsborough County Commissioner Pat Kemp and HNTB consultant Chloe Coney during a Tampa Bay Express meeting Monday night at the Barrymore Hotel. [CAITLIN JOHNSTON  |  Times]
  4. Pinellas commission set to discuss next budget, licensing board

    Local Government

    CLEARWATER –– The Pinellas County Commission will be busy on Tuesday.

  5. Pinellas grants St. Pete's request to add millions to pier budget

    Local Government

    Times Staff Writer

    The Pinellas County Commission has granted St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman's request to dedicate millions more toward the city's new pier.

    The St. Petersburg City Council on Thursday  voted 7-1 to appropriate $17.6 million for the over-water portion of the Pier District. This is a rendering of what the new Pier District could look like. [Courtesy of St. Petersburg]