Thursday, December 8, 2022

Historic Triangle loses internet amid national outage

Map shows widespread internet outages Tuesday throughout Virginia Tuesday afternoon. (Courtesy DownDetector)
Map shows widespread internet outages Tuesday throughout Virginia Tuesday afternoon. (Courtesy DownDetector)

If you’re suffering through spotty internet connectivity, you’re not alone.

Internet outages from Williamsburg to New Orleans and Los Angeles left vast swathes of America without internet services Tuesday afternoon.

The widespread outage began at 2:08 p.m., according to DownDetector. Cox Communications suffered outages across its entire service area, which spans 19 states, including Virginia, according to the site.

“We are aware that there’s a service outage in Hampton Roads, and we are working to resolve it,” said Cox spokeswoman Jessica Dawley. She was unable to provide any information on what caused the outage and how long it would take for service to be restored. 

While Tuesday’s outage affects large areas of the country, issues with internet — specifically with internet service provider Cox — are nothing new for Historic Triangle residents. In James City County alone, there were more complaints filed about Cox services than tax increases.

According to data received in a Freedom of Information Act request, there were 31 complaints about Cox internet and television services between Jan. 1, 2015 and April 7, 2017 compared to the 30 complaints about the James City County Board of Supervisor’s decision to increase taxes in 2015.

Complaints voiced on the company’s Twitter help center showcased such frustration.

Sheryl Bristow Sulouff of Williamsburg said she has been working on deadline to purchase advertising from media companies — called media buys — for work Tuesday. Sulouff owns Paraclete Marketing Group, LLC, a marketing agency in Williamsburg.

She said if the spotty internet persists, she will miss “big deadlines” for Wednesday. Sulouff is traveling out of the country this weekend, and has “a lot to do” before she leaves, she said.

Kaitlyn O’Connor, 25, a recent graduate from William & Mary Law School, said the internet outage has affected her studying for the Virginia Bar Exam.

O’Connor chose to stay in Williamsburg for the summer to study, she said, but hopes to move to Richmond soon.

“I am currently studying for the Virginia Bar Exam, which is in one week, and I am unable to connect to my online course to access materials and practice questions,” O’Connor wrote to WYDaily. “Incredibly stressful and frustrating.”

Update 7/19 7:35 a.m.: According to Cox spokeswoman Jessica Dawley, service was restored to most Hampton Roads customers around 11 p.m. Tuesday. She said the regional outage was caused by “a software issue that affected service to internet customers in Hampton Roads.”

“While customers still may experience some intermittent issues, service has been restored,” she said. “We apologize for the inconvenience and appreciate your patience.”

Dawley said other outages in the country were not caused by the “software issue.”

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