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Friday’s State-wide Cox Outage Inconveniences Customers

September 27, 2009 • Darrell Shandrow Hilliker

Some Cox Communications customers throughout Arizona woke up Friday morning to find themselves disconnected from their digital lives. Technical support calls were greeted by a recorded message that stated: “We are currently experiencing outages affecting high speed Internet and digital telephone state-wide. Our engineers are working to resolve this issue. There is no estimated time of repair.”

Tempe resident Lauren Peikoff, an Arizona State University journalism student, wanted to go online before leaving for class.

“I needed to check to see if I had any assignments posted,” said Peikoff. “I wanted to find out if there was anything else I needed to do. What if my instructor said class was canceled?”

She was also concerned about an assignment in her online class due Friday evening.

“I was thinking ahead. OK. I am going to have to go to the library to submit my homework,” Peikoff said.

She was relieved to discover she could complete the assignment at home after service was restored sometime between 1:30 and 2 p.m.

Tempe resident Corey Nava also experienced the outage.

“I was trying to check my e-mail at the time and I couldn’t even get to it. It was just a pain, really,” Nava said. “I was actually looking for a car online, too, so, it kind of put a damper on that.”

Cox representatives said the service interruption was caused by a software problem.

“It disrupted service to around 10 percent of our customers,” said Michael Dunne, Director of Media Relations, Cox Communications, Southern Arizona. “It wasn’t geographically located. It was kind of all over. Our techs immediately started working the issue.”

Cox Media Relations Director Andrea Katsenes prefers not to classify the incident as an outage. “The interruption was intermittent,” she said.

“We’ve been talking to our customers on a case-by-case basis,” Katsenes said, declining to provide details on any steps Cox might take to compensate customers.

Nava said he won’t ask Cox for any credit to his account. “I probably won’t even follow up on it. It was an inconvenience and it’s not the first time it happened.”

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