Making our Internet even worse (Updated)


Moving the national fiber? More like ruin it  Amirite?

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”

18 thoughts on “Making our Internet even worse (Updated)

    • Ralph, I’ve had the same problem twice now.

      The first time it was the modem that was failing but the CANTV techs couldn’t figure that out.
      Finally in desperation another family member gave me a CANTV modem they weren’t using & the problem was fixed once I installed & registered it.

      This week the same thing happened when the ABA cam back.
      Really slow with downloads around 0.4 (We also have 1.5 download).
      Called again thinking it was the modem again but during the conversation the electricity failed.
      We were out for the next few hours & when I turned on the computer again the IP had changed & the speed was back up to normal levels.

      It appears that when they restored service & asked everybody to reboot the modems they all connected to the same IP.

      Try rebooting your modem again to see if you can get the IP to change and if not call CANTV. Easiest way to see your current IP is with Gmail. Under the inbox you’ll see recent acitvity. Just click on details. If not do a Google search for “my IP”.


  1. I have had my name on the waiting list for a land line from CANTV for nearly a year now. Still waiting…

    A few months ago, I noticed that they were installing a new connection box in the street next to my building. I went and spoke to the technician installing it. To my dismay, in spite of the fact that the work included pulling a new cable, they did not pull in a larger cable to handle the increased demand. They removed the old cable and installed a new one with the same number of pairs.

    Sigh… guess I am not getting that land line and ABA anytime soon.


    • Don’t worry Roy, back in the 60’s my parents requested a land line and we got it in 1978.

      You got a ways to go, bud.


  2. Don´’t ask for Cantv ADSL Modems… They cost 130 bs. at CANTV but … Surprise ! They are not available .. You can buy a similar ADSL modem in a mall store in 5300 Bs !


  3. 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”.

    Similar to the disappearance of the website, where one used to be able to get hydroelectric generation data. The GOV didn’t like all that data being publicly discussed during the time the drought was affecting the Guri reservoir, given that the power outages also brought forth discussion of the GOV’s not following through on IV Republic plans to expand capacity, so it decided the best alternative was to shut the website down.


  4. It’s kinda amazing…in theory the government should be able to track everyone online and target people based upon their online activity (including what the read, watch, and post) with specific messaging, or simply harassing anyone if they so chose.

    Despite this, they don’t seem to have the capability or capacity to set those systems up (as they simply seem to be milking CANTV)…. Otherwise, in order to ensure better control they would be giving Internet access to everyone for free and using their systems to block all objectionable content (a la China) under the guise of public funding only for things of public interest….

    They are still living in the 1950’s thinking that the world still revolves around TV…Thank God…


    • Unfortunatly, Venezuela’s population in general ( mostly outside caracas, or atleast here in Maracaibo) is stuck in the 1950’s and most people actually DO pay attention only to the TV and newspapers. Most chavistas believe anything anyone tells them they read on the internet, are rumors in fact, i’ve met some people who actually think the internet is controlled by the United States.


  5. The article is pointing in the right direction but is missing a piece of essential information. There was no real Internet outage. CANTV DNS servers were out of service. Right after the failure was noticed, a quick fix spread all over Twitter: failing DNS server addresses should be replaced with addresses of an open DNS alternative such as Google DNS to get connected again.

    For the uninitiated, a DNS server is the Internet service in charge of translating your typical URL into an IP address for making actual connections. In this incident, CANTV DNS servers were up but their software got corrupted, and here is where things get ugly: this kind of failure can be resolved in a matter of minutes if taken care of by a good system administrator. That wasn’t the case.


  6. The conspiracytards on twitter said it was a desperate measure to avoid a coup on the then returning platanote.

    I believe them. Occam’s razor doesn’t work on this country, it never did.


  7. Well, it is an incident. Anything that breaks in your IT infrastructure is an incident.

    Mind, it may be a very serious incident, I have a whole table of stuff to see at my job if it is a Level 5 (pff, nobody cares) or a Level 1 (mother of god, we are losing millions every minute this is down), but an incident anyway.

    Would be good to know the cause of the incident, but good luck with that


    • It was to slow communication for the return of his supreme cowardice.

      It was no coincidence that it failed at minnight the day of his arrival and was “cured’ at midday when he was safely in his fort.


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