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Major Internet Outage Hits Viya on Christmas Eve; Lasting More Than 12 Hours

St. Thomas 𑁋 The largest telecommunications company in the U.S. Virgin Islands experienced a major service interruption on Christmas Eve and on Christmas day. The outage did not affect all internet customers, with some customers with 100-gigabit plans still able to stream media on slower than usual speeds.

State of the Territory News reached out to Viya after noticing the company’s main website nor the three social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) it manages offered any updates or announcements about the outage. The service interruption began affecting an unknown number of internet subscribers Tuesday evening.

“We had a problem last night, [and] it was resolved this morning,” a Viya representative said. “People are having some problems” when attempting to access their home networks. Viya said that one of the company’s main carrier connections went offline, which sent traffic to two additional carrier connections, which had difficulty handling the holiday load.

The service interruption “affected everybody as far as slow speeds. One of our upstream provider’s sessions were lost, so the traffic kind of got split between other providers,” Viya added. “So we’re having poor performance and slow speeds” affecting internet subscribers. 

Regardless of the time zone, internet users can assume a few things about local internet usage. The so-called Internet Rush Hour is typically between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. regardless of the time zone. Not all customers lost access to the internet during the interruption, some customers simply experienced significantly slower than usual speeds — especially when using streaming services to watch movies or play online video games.

Viya’s Tuesday outage began around 9 p.m. and persisted into Christmas day. With most government employees, students and non-essential workers around the territory at home, a Christmas Eve service interruption occurred once Viya’s systems became overloaded. 

Representatives from Viya did not clarify if other services like Cable TV subscriptions, landline, or mobile phone service were also affected. Viya did confirm that service had been restored to a number of customers and advised subscribers with ongoing issues to call their customer service numbers so technical support can begin troubleshooting their accounts.

It was not clear if any island was affected more by the service interruption. Viya said that company engineers were troubleshooting issues affecting both St. Croix and St. Thomas.