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News reports are coming out of Chicago this morning of another Comcast Internet outage once again caused by problems with its DNS servers. This is the second major Internet outage in little over a week.

The Chicago Sun-Timessays that this outage hit the Chicago-region, Northwest Indiana, parts of Michigan and Minnesota and began about 1930 CST and was fixed a little after midnight.

Comcast apologized for "any frustrations" suffered, like those experienced by Northwestern University students studying for exams before Finals week. I am sure the affected students there gladly accepted those words magnanimously.

At least time, Comcast customer service provided an automated message telling affected callers that it was experiencing technical difficulties and to call back later.

The Conversation (0)

Why the Internet Needs the InterPlanetary File System

Peer-to-peer file sharing would make the Internet far more efficient

12 min read
An illustration of a series
Carl De Torres

When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020, the world made an unprecedented shift to remote work. As a precaution, some Internet providers scaled back service levels temporarily, although that probably wasn’t necessary for countries in Asia, Europe, and North America, which were generally able to cope with the surge in demand caused by people teleworking (and binge-watching Netflix). That’s because most of their networks were overprovisioned, with more capacity than they usually need. But in countries without the same level of investment in network infrastructure, the picture was less rosy: Internet service providers (ISPs) in South Africa and Venezuela, for instance, reported significant strain.

But is overprovisioning the only way to ensure resilience? We don’t think so. To understand the alternative approach we’re championing, though, you first need to recall how the Internet works.

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