Comcast slowed to a crawl Monday night across parts of the West Coast due to unexpected rerouting of DNS traffic after a hardware failure, according to a post on the cable giant’s website. The overloaded servers struggled to direct traffic to the appropriate websites.
“We know that having a fast, reliable connection to the Internet is vital and that interruptions of this sort are unacceptable,” the company says. “We’re sorry that we didn’t live up to that last night. We are giving a credit to customers who were impacted.”
DNS is a service that redirects traffic from the URL you enter to the IP address (a set of numbers) of the server you want to get things from. Comcast and all other DNS providers automatically reroute service if there is a slowdown detected along one line. However, last night’s traffic was rerouted in “an unexpected way and overloaded local DNS server capacity,” according to the company’s post.
Users can change the DNS settings for their devices to point to other servers. This was the quickest solution to last night’s problem, but it was also fixed on Comcast’s end by 11 p.m.
Comcast is offering a credit to those who were impacted by the service disruption. The company is building a site to handle customer requests for reimbursements. The company says it will share the link on its Twitter account and update its blog post when it’s available.
USA Today reports that the credit will be $5 for affected customers.