Comcast Recovers From Brief ‘X1’ Outage

Comcast confirmed that its cloud-based X1 platform suffered a brief outage late Friday night (October 4), but said the service was soon back online.

Reports indicated that the outage occurred at about midnight ET on Friday.

On Saturday, a Comcast spokeswoman said “some X1 customers experienced service issues last night. The team has corrected it and service should now be back to normal.”

Comcast did not reveal a root cause for the outage, but another official said the issue lasted for about an hour.

“If X1 customers are continuing to have problems, they should power cycle the X1 box by unplugging the power source for 30 seconds,” the @ComcastCares Twitter account suggested on early Saturday morning.

Comcast’s X1 platform features an advanced user interface and IP-fed apps delivered out of its Centennial, Colo.-based facility. Comcast, which is preparing to rollout an upgraded version of the platform called X2, is marketing the new offering primarily to new triple-play customers.

A key advantage of the cloud-based approach is agility, giving Comcast a way to change and upgrade the platform rapidly. But, based on the recent outage, this more centralized approach also has some vulnerabilities.

Comcast has yet to say how many customers are on X1 today, but, at the Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference in New York last month, company vice chairman and chief financial officer Michael Angelakis said the operator was connecting about 10,000 X1 customers per day.

Comcast has rolled out X1 to about 85% of its service area, and expects to have it deployed in all markets by the end of 2013. Last week, some customers reported they were able to get an early look at the coming X2 platform by pressing a specific sequence of buttons on the remote control. Comcast has not announced an anticipated launch date for X2, other than to say that it expects to introduce it sometime this fall.