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Consolidated Internet Services Go Down Across Region

In a unanimous decision, the Public Utility Commission found that Vermont can regulate Voice over Internet Protocol service under federal law.
Ingram Publishing
Consolidated Communications experienced an internet outage that affected 83,000 people.

Consolidated Communications suffered a major internet outage around the region on Wednesday. A state official says the outage affected 83,000 residential and small business customers in Vermont and New Hampshire.

Clay Purvis, director of telecommunications at the Vermont Department of Public Service, said the outage did not affect Consolidated’s basic voice service or its carrier ethernet services that large businesses typically use.

He said the problems hampered Consolidated’s ability to respond to service complaints in a timely manner.

“The outage is affecting their consumer hotline so anyone trying to call into their repair line or customer service line may not be able to get through,” he said.

The state is already investigating Consolidated’s service quality. Purvis said the internet outage was due to a software coding issue within a piece of network equipment. 

"The company's response to the outage is something we're thinking of as we continue our investigation." - Clay Purvis, telecommunications director, state Department of Public Service

“And I think it raises a different set of concerns,” he said. “But the company’s response to the outage is something we’re thinking of as we continue our investigation.”

Consolidated said internet service began to be restored by mid-afternoon Wednesday. The company advised customers to re-start their modems to get back on-line.

In a statement, Mike Shultz, Consolidated's vice president of legislative and regulatory affairs, said the outage started because of a fire on a shared utility pole in Milford, N.H. 

“Although there was redundancy and failover within the network, a routing issue and software failure prevented the seamless transition of connections. We are working closely with our vendor to ensure additional stability is in place,” he said. 

John worked for VPR in 2001-2021 as reporter and News Director. Previously, John was a staff writer for the Sunday Times Argus and the Sunday Rutland Herald, responsible for breaking stories and in-depth features on local issues. He has also served as Communications Director for the Vermont Health Care Authority and Bureau Chief for UPI in Montpelier.
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