AT&T says it's restored U-verse and will give credits for outage

Many users were affected by an outage this week that AT&T blamed on a problem with a software update

AT&T said Thursday it had restored its U-verse broadband service to all customers who suffered from a widespread outage this week.

The fiber-based TV, Internet and phone service had been out for three days or more, according to some customers who complained on social media such as Twitter and U-verse's Facebook page. AT&T has said the problem affected less than 1 percent of U-verse subscribers and was concentrated in its Southeast and Southwest service areas.

"U-verse service has been fixed for all impacted customers. We'll be crediting those affected & we're incredibly sorry for the inconvenience," the carrier said via Twitter around 11 a.m. Pacific time on Thursday. It had said service would be restored on Thursday morning.

In response to a question on Twitter, AT&T said all affected customers will receive a credit whether they reported an outage or not.

The outage was caused by a problem on AT&T's servers that was related to a software update, according to the carrier.

"The software problem causing the issues was resolved by AT&T engineers early this morning. We are not pleased it took so long to fix the issue," the company said in a statement on Thursday.

The episode set off a firestorm of criticism on social media as customers complained about the loss of service and, in some cases, customer service in response to the problem. With U-verse serving approximately 7.4 million subscribers as of last September, even an outage that hit less than 1 percent of those users could have affected tens of thousands of people, many of whom are no longer content to report failures privately to service providers.

Stephen Lawson covers mobile, storage and networking technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @sdlawsonmedia. Stephen's e-mail address is stephen_lawson@idg.com

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