Apologies again; the absolute only reason I am posting this update is that apparently BFD so far is the only news outlet outside of the DSL reports forum to publish any of the (still meager) information out there – which is pretty pathetic given that we’re talking about a subsidiary of a publicly-traded company here. The previous post here was noticed by a forum participant desperate for some “real” reporting of the situation, which is part of the reason I am posting this follow-up.
In a nutshell, against the odds, SpeedFactory’s DSL service came back up late yesterday. Before then, there was no confirmed communication from the company about what might be going on, except for a mostly content-free notice (below) from the CEO which eventually made it on to the company’s home page three plus days into the outage. Various individual(s) claiming to be SpeedFactory employees posted pseudo updates to the forum as well. These posts claim that the ultimate cause of the outage was a major hardware failure, but speculation has been rampant that, based on the parent company’s most recent SEC filing reporting current monthly operating losses of $150,000 and a yearly loss last year of more than $11 million, SpeedFactory’s upstream internet service was cut off due to nonpayment. Other than some “vapor-ware” assurances (to quote a forum poster) that the problems have been addressed, no confirmed information has been made available. Anecdotal reports suggest that SpeedFactory’s area offices may be permanently closed; at least one forum post from a supposed former employee suggested that all the staff had been let go. The techs people have been able to reach have been at a New Jersey-based subsidiary of NextPhase.
All in all a pretty sad state of affairs, and one that a real news agency ought to be able to make a story out of – at the very least, the rest of SpeedFactory’s customers who haven’t been scouring the internet for information could use something other than the corporate-speak communications below.
TO ALL SPEEDFACTORY CUSTOMERS
We apologize for any inconvenience our service outage has caused you. We accept full responsibility for this outage and have taken steps to prevent this from ever happening again.
We are here to stay in business with you, our valued customer, in the Atlanta area.
We are investing in proper backup to support the services we provide in Atlanta, so that we will not put you in this difficult situation ever again.
We will be offering a month free of charge to all SpeedFactory customers affected by this outage.
We are implementing proper call flow management and communications to assure you will never be without a simple means of communication with us.
We are also willing to offer free installation and one month of free service to all new customers who sign up for any of our services the rest of the month (April, 2008)
We hope you accept our sincere apologies and thank you for your patience and support during this very trying time.
CEO, NextPhase Wireless, Inc (parent company of SpeedFactory)
That was followed up with this e-mail (from my inbox):
To All SpeedFactory Customers
On behalf of everyone at our Company, I’d like to apologize for any inconvenience that SpeedFactory’s recent service outage may have caused you. Our service is now operational and your information remains secure. We accept full responsibility for what occurred and we are taking aggressive steps to ensure that it does not happen again.
* We greatly value your business, and we deeply regret the inconvenience that this service disruption may have caused you.
* We are investing in advanced redundant backup systems as well as conducting tests under high-stress scenarios to ensure that service outages do not reoccur in the future.
* In addition, we have already begun implementing new operational protocols to materially improve our inbound communications systems with a goal of ensuring proper and efficient call flow management on a 24/7 basis.
* In an attempt to compensate you for the inconvenience, all customers affected by yesterday’s service disruption will receive one month of free service from SpeedFactory.
* We are also offering free installation and one month of free service to all customers who sign up for new services or upgrades at any time during the remainder of this month (April, 2008). This offer also applies to new customers.
Again, please accept our sincerest apology. We greatly appreciate your patience and support during this very trying time.
President, SpeedFactory, Inc.