News

AT&T U-verse TV Hit by Nationwide Outages

10/22/2007 12:01 PM Eastern

AT&T U-verse TV subscribers across the country were denied access to multiple cable channels for most of the day Sunday, and the telephone company on Monday said it was still investigating what caused the outages.

In online forums at AT&T’s own Web site and on UverseUsers.com, subscribers reported receiving error messages informing them they were not subscribed to certain channels.

AT&T spokeswoman Destiny Belknap said the errors began early Sunday morning and that access to all channels was restored by 7:30 p.m. CST.

“We’re conducting a full internal review to make sure this doesn’t happen again in the future,” she said. Belknap did not provide any information on what caused the outages.

According to AT&T, only certain cable channels were affected. The company said customers should have continued to have access to local standard- and high-definition broadcast channels, some cable news and sports networks, some premium cable channels and all video-on-demand and digital video recorder content.

Belknap said she did not have a list of which specific cable networks were unavailable, nor did she know how many were affected. U-verse TV currently offers more than 320 channels, according to AT&T.

On Sunday the telephone company told affected customers to reboot their set-top boxes at specific times to restore full service.

According to one post on UverseUsers.com, AT&T said that as of 2:30 p.m. CST customers in Dallas, Cleveland, Detroit and Houston should have been able to restore service by rebooting their set-top boxes by holding down the power button for about 5 seconds. At that point, AT&T had scheduled service to be restored in other markets – including Indianapolis, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Sacramento, San Antonio, San Diego, San Francisco and Connecticut – later in the day.

As of 6:30 p.m. Central, according to another post, five markets had yet to restore access to the full channel lineup: Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Sacramento, San Diego and San Francisco.

The company’s U-verse TV runs on Microsoft’s Internet Protocol TV middleware and set-top box software. Last year AT&T cited the need to make “enhancements” to the Microsoft-supplied software as contributing to deployment delays.

September