Netflix back up after 4-hour outage

By Julie Johnsson
Posted March 23 at 8:47 a.m.

Netflix Inc. suffered a service outage Tuesday night that left customers unable to view movies or television shows through its online streaming service or through devices such as Roku. The California-based content provider said Wednesday that the service was fully restored.

“Netflix is up and on as usual,” said Netflix spokesman Steve Swasey, via email. “Last night we had an unanticipated and rare technical issue that interrupted the service for about four hours, since fixed.”

This is the second time that Netflix has gone dark during the last six months as its Internet subscription service rapidly becomes a leading source of programming.

Hardware provider Sandvine, in an October, 2010 report, said that downloading by Netflix’s 20 million customers in the U.S. and Canada accounts for more than 20 percent of Internet traffic during peak times and is heaviest between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m.

The Netflix outage quickly drew howls of protest on Twitter last night. Wrote a Twitter user known as @190_West_Bridge: “Netflix is down … does that mean I have to watch actual TV?!?!?”

The fast-growing digital movie provider acknowledged the outage via its Twitter help account and through a message informing users that both the “Netflix website and ability to instantly watch movies are temporarily unavailable.”

Netflix staffers worked through the night to resolve the issues and its help desk announced on Twitter, around 1 a.m., central, that service was restored. “RESOLVED: The website and devices are back up and running. Thanks again for your patience while we worked to get this fixed!”

Read more about the topics in this post: , ,

Companies in this article


  1. Kathy W March 23 at 9:07 a.m.

    I’m not totally surprised by this. Netflix is great, but it often bogs down my connection. Like some others here, another option are services like the LiveTVWorldwide website which seems to run faster and it supports slower connection speeds. The only thing is that its mostly for TV shows and broadcasts more than movies. LiveTVWorldwide is a good alternative.

  2. Cyn March 23 at 9:13 a.m.

    You call THAT an issue!, the system was down at the unemployment office in Leominster,Ma ALL DAY yesterday!!!!

  3. Phil MacInnis March 23 at 9:29 a.m.

    Nice to read that the problem of last night (22/03/2011) was fixed.

    My question now is why can I not use the system today ????

  4. Kevin March 23 at 9:34 a.m.

    Something else must have been going on. I mailed my DVD back on Monday and they didn’t show it as received until Wednesday. This has never happened. They always receive it the next day. I hope they aren’t playing games here!

  5. Aaron March 23 at 9:44 a.m.

    To Kathy W. If you are streaming HD content, it will take more of your internet connection to have a smooth picture. You might want to upgrade your internet connection to a faster speed, so your other internet related activities won’t bog down…

    To Kevin. Netflix does not charge late fees for DVD’s.. So, why would you worry about a day or two difference ? I have kept a DVD for a month, no such charges indicated on my bill…

    To Phil. Works for me, might be another issue on your connection.

  6. StitchingAngel March 23 at 11:08 a.m.

    To Aaron: I’ve been a Netflix customer for 7 years. From day one, and through the entire period during which Netflix was accused of throttling their high-volume customers (slowing down our turn-overs so we’d get fewer discs), I consistently had 2 day turnover on all my movies. I’d put one in the mail Monday, they’d check it in Tuesday morning before I left for work, by the time I got home from work Tuesday the next disc ship notice had been emailed, and the disc was in my mailbox on Wednesday. In the last month or so, I’m seeing more two-day check-ins like Kevin reports.

  7. Everyday American March 23 at 11:54 a.m.

    Good thing I’m still on my trial offer. I’ve only had Netflix for a five or so days, and I probably won’t re-up after the trial period is up.

  8. TDLR March 23 at 12:09 pm

    @Everyday American – Probably a wise choice. Stick with Blockbuster.

  9. NetflixRox March 23 at 1:27 pm

    @T Have fun with Blockbuster when it closes down!

  10. joeschmo1 March 23 at 9:21 pm

    The service goes down for 4 hours and we’re complaining? Holy cow, are we a bunch of spoiled brats or what? Read a book, go outside for a walk, do something creative. If you’re going to expect everything to work 100% all the time, then you’re setting yourself up for many years of disappointment.

  11. Dusty Golder March 26 at 4:24 pm

    I cannot aggree more what a mighty thoughtfully written story, thank you for writing this!

  12. Junior Halat March 27 at 12:27 pm

    I can’t agree more what a mighty well written story, thanks for writing this!