AT&T Will Credit U-verse Subs Knocked Out by Server Snafu

AT&T said that as of Thursday morning it had restored service to the “vast majority” of the approximately 6,000 U-verse customers in at least 10 states hit by outages this week after a critical server failure, and the telco will extend credits to affected subscribers.

“We expect the remaining customer issues will be resolved this morning,” AT&T said in a statement. “We will provide a credit to customers who were affected. We know our customers count on their U-verse service and we apologize for the inconvenience.”

U-verse customers reported outages and sporadic problems starting Monday, Jan. 21, spanning markets in multiple states in the Southeast and Southwest including Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, North Carolina, Kentucky, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama and Louisiana.

The issue ultimately affected less than 1% of U-verse subscribers, according to AT&T. As of the end of the third quarter of 2012, the telco had 7.4 million total U-verse subscribers (TV and high-speed Internet). The company is scheduled to report Q4 results after market close Thursday.

On Wednesday, an AT&T support representative posted in the telco’s online forum, “At this time, we’ve identified an issue with a server that supports U-verse. Some impacted customers may be able to restore service by powering down and restarting their Residential Gateway.”

The issue was related to “a software upgrade,” according to a post on the official U-verse Twitter account.

AT&T did not provide additional details on what the specific problem was, but reports suggested the outages stemmed from a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server failure. DHCP servers assign IP addresses to client devices that connect to a network.

According to comments posted on AT&T's message boards, some U-verse customers lost service while neighbors with U-verse remained online.