Customers hit out at Eircom attack


Angry customers have hit out at Eircom after another suspected attack left customers without internet service for several hours last night.

The telecoms company admitted a number of its broadband customers suffered some disruption to their service last night. It said “significant congestion” experienced by web users appeared to be related to an “unprecedented volume" of traffic directed at the network.

The outage began at about 6pm, with Eircom claiming to have the problem resolved by 11.15pm.

Eircom users vented their frustration on numerous sites around the internet including social networking site Twitter and, complaining about how the incident was handled.

Long delays in customer service calls and a lack of information provided by Eircom were among the complaints made online by those who were attempting to find out what had gone wrong with their internet connection.

But the company defended itself, saying it had made attempts to communicate to customers through the media today, and had this morning updated a number of recorded messages on its customer support lines to reflect last night’s problem.

“Customers have clearly been frustrated,” said Eircom's director of communications Paul Bradley. “We have apologised and asked them to understand that we are doing everything we can to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”

Mr Bradley said the DNS servers were able to deal with higher volumes of traffic, but the issue arose when normal volumes increased 100 per cent, leading to congestion for its internet customers.

It was confirmed today that the incident has been reported to the communications regulator.

"We are currently in communication with Eircom to ensure that the problem is rectified so that use of the internet by businesses and consumers is not affected," ComReg said in a statement.

The company has no idea who carried out the latest attack or why, but Mr Bradley said there was a third party involved and Eircom believed the incident was deliberate.

However, some customers claimed the interruption to service continued past 11.15pm last night, and some were still experiencing slow connections this morning.

Mr Bradley said the telecoms company was taking to steps to try to prevent similar attacks in the future, including software patches and hardware adjustments.

This is the second time in recent days that Eircom customers have had their service interrupted. Last week, some customers attempting to access sites such as RTÉ, Facebook or Bebo were redirected to different websites, some of which displayed advertising or images of scantily clad women.