The Internet’s ‘backbone’ was broken, and many in US were suddenly unplugged


By Aimee Ortiz Globe Staff 

No, it wasn’t just you having trouble loading up that website.

People across the nation experienced Internet problems Monday, according to service providers and to reports fielded by


Outage maps on the website showed large, angry red swaths covering some of the country’s major metropolitan areas, including Boston, New York, Seattle, and San Francisco.

With customers taking to social media to vent their frustrations, some providers, including Comcast and RCN, released statements blaming a company called Level 3.

RCN said it had switched to an alternate backbone.

Comcast Xfinity said its customers experienced problems due to “an external network issue.”

By 3:38 p.m., Comcast announced that the problem was mostly over.


Marc Goodman, a spokesman for Comcast Cable, said the Level 3 outages were behind the problems Xfinity customers had experienced.

Level 3, or CenturyLink as it’s now called, acts as a sort of backbone for other providers. The provider also had outages listed on

The company said on Twitter at 3:27 p.m. that its network had experienced a disruption, but things were back to normal.

Aimee Ortiz can be reached at
Follow her on twitter @aimee_ortiz.