Over the weekend, there was a massive outage of the Internet by the State-owned company CANTV, which affected most of the country. Even if CANTV apologized and said that the service had been restored, many customers have complained in the following days.
The reasons behind the outage are still unexplained, as it was the largest failure since June of last year. Back then, another outage not only took out the Internet, but also phone landlines. And there was that time in April 13th, 2013, right in the middle of the Presidential election.
The extension of the outage was pretty widespread, as the specialized NGO Acceso Libre monitored the situation closely and put it in several maps on its Twitter account.
The fact that news about the outage and its causes have been scarce is unsurprising, as the TSJ told NGO Espacio Publico last month that all related information to the country’s telecommunications is now classified because of “security concerns against the nation”. But behind CANTV’s policy of silence also lies a depressing internal picture, as this recent post by Inside Telecom’s William Pena describes:
With CANTV in State hands, the regression has been evident. Of all (telecommunications) operators in Venezuela, is the least advanced and lacks innovation in its services. The debacle is obvious and those in control of the company care little about its future. All expansion projects are paralyzed from long ago (because of lack of investment) and the annoucements made last year stayed only in paper…”
The situation extends to overall quality: Last month, Maduro promised 4G technology for 2015, even if it was already authorized by communications authority CONATEL … in 2012. Perhaps their priorities are different…
UPDATE: Commenter Gabriel mentions that the problem wasn’t an Internet outage but that CANTV DNS servers were out of service and that some used a quick fix by replacing failing DNS server addresses with addresses of an open DNS alternatives to get connected again. CANTV’s official version sticks to using the generic term “incident”
Caracas Chronicles is 100% reader-supported.
Support independent Venezuelan journalism by making a donation.Donate