Consolidated Communications DNS Issue: A Guide for CharlesWorks Customers

by | Sep 30, 2023 | Technical Help, Web Hosting

Computer Monitor at DesktopCharles from CharlesWorks here. If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of the unfortunate few who have been affected by the recent Consolidated Communications DNS issue.

NOTE: Consolidated indicated their issue fully resolved 11/9/23

The good news? Your website is accessible to almost everyone—except, ironically, you. This article aims to shed light on the situation and offer immediate solutions.

The Problem

DNS issues can be extremely difficult for most Internet users to understand. Just like with your car, it’s not mandatory to know how the engine works to operate it.

The issue at hand is a localized DNS problem within Consolidated Communications. Specifically, if you’re a Consolidated customer using the 64.222.165.243 and 64.222.84.243 as your router or computer’s name servers, you’re likely experiencing difficulties accessing your website.

Reporting the Issue

Upon diagnosing this issue on Saturday morning, September 30, 2023, I promptly filed a trouble ticket with Consolidated Communications. I also reached out to their DNS team. Despite these efforts, the problem persists, and it’s causing a lot of confusion and frustration among our shared customer base.

Immediate Solutions

If you’re affected by this Consolidated Communications DNS issue, the quickest solution is to change your DNS settings. Here’s how:

    1. Contact Consolidated Customer Service: Call 844-968-7224. If you’re a Fidium customer, the number is 844-434-3486. Unfortunately, CharlesWorks has no access into Consolidated’s routers on your premises. Or, if you have IT staff, they may be able to make this change for you.
    2. Request the DNS Change: Ask the customer service representative to guide you through the process of changing the DNS settings in your Consolidated Internet service router.
    3. Update the DNS Addresses: Ask them to change the DNS server addresses from:
      64.222.165.243 and 64.222.84.243
      to:
      8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4
    4. Save the Changes: Make sure to save these changes. Your issue will be resolved immediately unless the bad DNS settings are cached in your computer as well.

For a more detailed guide on how to change DNS settings on your machine, please refer to my article DNS 102: How to Check Your DNS Settings & Issues (https://charlesworks.com/dns-102-how-to-check-your-dns-settings-issues/). It addresses Apple based and PC based computers.

Misinformation and Clarifications

It has come to my attention that Consolidated Communications has been directing their customers back to CharlesWorks, claiming that the issue lies on our end. Let’s set the record straight: if the problem were with CharlesWorks:

    • changing the DNS server addresses wouldn’t resolve the issue
    • the problem wouldn’t be exclusive to Consolidated customers
    • you wouldn’t be able to see your website on your cell phone in the data (turn off wireless) mode

What You Should Ask When You Call Consolidated

When you call Consolidated’s customer service, be specific in your requests:

    1. I am experiencing a Consolidated Communications DNS issue that is preventing me from accessing my website. Consolidated is aware of this issue. Can you guide me through changing the DNS settings in my router?
    2. I would like to change my DNS server addresses from 64.222.165.243 and 64.222.84.243 to 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4. Can you assist me?
    3. Can you confirm that the changes have been saved and that my router will now use the new DNS settings?

Final Thoughts

We at CharlesWorks have no control over Consolidated’s DNS servers. We’re doing everything we can to help you navigate this frustrating issue. Your website is up and running to the rest of the planet; it’s just this localized DNS issue affecting long term Consolidated (previously FairPoint) customers Internet service that’s the roadblock. By following the steps outlined above, you should be able to resolve the issue promptly.

Trust me when I say, “No one wants this fixed more than Charles does!”

I hope this guide has been helpful. If you have any more questions or need further clarification, feel free to reach out at 603-924-9867 and speak with Charles or Evan.

Issue Update Log September

9/30/23

Upon diagnosing this was in fact an issue on this Saturday morning, I promptly filed a trouble ticket with Consolidated Communications. I also reached out to their DNS team via email. This issue is causing a lot of confusion and frustration among our shared customer base.

Issue Update Log October

10/2/23

I called Consolidated customer service again. No status report had been given me about this. I had not heard back from anyone. The support person offered to have the issue escalated.

10/3/23

Got a call from a Consolidated engineer in their escalation department assigned to this issue. He indicated they are testing and trying to determine what the problem is.

10/4/23

I received an email from the Consolidated engineer assigned to this issue. He indicated the [Consolidated Communications] DNS [Domain Name System] and NAT [Network Address Translation] teams are actively working on a patch/workaround.

10/6/23

I called and left a message with Consolidated’s network engineer handling this escalated situation.

10/6/23

The Consolidated engineer assigned to this issue called me right back. He indicated they are still testing and trying to determine what the problem is. He said the team working on this may try some software fixes to their name servers but they have to try them on separate machines not online or they risk putting their own services down.

10/12/23

I called and left a message with Consolidated’s network engineer handling this escalated situation.

10/12/23

Got a call back from the Consolidated engineer assigned to this issue. He indicated they have a possible solution. I was reassured they are going to try it, but can’t do it tomorrow. He indicated if it causes any major issues there is no one to work on it over the weekend. During the call, the service rep said that Consolidated will try to fix the problem on Monday. I also expressed my displeasure with the fact that my web clients are told that this is a CharlesWorks problem when they call Consolidated support and wait on the line for almost an hour. The service rep said that they will try to tell the front-line support staff to indicate that Consolidated is aware of the issue and that they are working on it.

10/16/23

I called and left a message with Consolidated’s network engineer handling this escalated situation.

10/19/23

I emailed the Consolidated network engineer handling this escalated situation, indicating this situation appears to be worsening. We continue to receive reports daily now that sites appear intermittently unreachable only by long term Consolidated (previously Fairpoint) customers. The number of said reports appears to be growing. All other Internet providers we are aware of have no problem reaching those same websites so the Consolidated issue has not been repaired as of yet. The band aid of changing the name server’s in Consolidated customers’ router on premises is a simple one that Consolidated customer service should be able to walk the customers through. I told him that the worst part of this is no communication unless I reach out, and now it appears I am not being answered even in that case.

10/19/23

Consolidated’s network engineer emailed me back indicating he’s been out for a few days. He indicated he reached out this morning to his contact on the ISP services team to see where they stand and he will let me know as soon as he hears back from him.

10/19/23

Consolidated’s network engineer emailed me back. He told me he was told that the update did not happen on Monday, but he was unsure of the reason. He indicated if he can find out, he will update me with that information.

10/20/23

Emailed the Consolidated engineer again asking what’s happening. I mentioned we are now three weeks into this thing and I’m really getting a lot of noise about this.

10/23/23

Received a message from Consolidated’s network engineer that he will be reaching out directly to the lead person who is working on this fix and hopefully transferring my ticket over to them directly. He went on to say that that should get me more timely updates.

10/23/23

I emailed the Consolidated engineer again. Mentioned I am thinking they haven’t even been working on this since. Nothing appears to have changed. Only one thing appears to have been accomplished so far. Some folks have advised me that Consolidated support has helped them to apply what I call the Band-Aid. They did that by helping them change the DNS servers their routers have been set at.

10/30/23

After a week, I emailed Consolidated’s network engineer handling this escalated situation telling him I have heard absolutely nothing from Consolidated from anyone other than him on this.

10/31/23

The Consolidated network engineer sent me an email indicating he had sent an email to the person who is working on this and the answer he got back late yesterday was that the testing they did last week was successful, and they identified a software load that will resolve the issue. He said that software update should be deployed around the end of the week (11/3/23). Or possibly the first of next week (11/6/23). It was depending on when they can schedule it.

10/31/23

I responded expressing my surprise they couldn’t respond to me themselves but that at least we are headed in the right direction.

Issue Update Log November

11/9/23

Consolidated’s network engineer emailed me. He was told this morning the second pair of DNS servers was updated last night (11/8/23). He also said the last pair of the 6 DNS servers will be updated tonight to the new BIND code.

11/9/23

I responded indicating that I intended to run some tests here now to ensure things are working.

11/13/23

Consolidated’s network engineer emailed me. He said that the Consolidated team advised him that they had resolved this situation. He asked if the DNS patches that Consolidated staff finished overnight Thursday (11/9/23) / Friday (11/10/23) resolved the issues we were seeing. I know that DNS issues can take some time to resolve themselves. Contacting several of my clients who had experienced issues in several days became a priority. I could check with them to see if the issues had subsided.

11/13/23

Let the Consolidated’s network engineer know that I just set the questioned Fairpoint DNS servers as the only ones in a workstation here. Doing so, I was able to access a few of the sites that I do not believe were accessible previously without making DNS changes. I let him know I thought hopefully, all is well, and that only time will tell in this kind of situation, and that the calls are not happening each day, so that’s a good sign!

11/22/23

I’m very pleased reporting this! All CharlesWorks clients that I was able to follow up with reported no further issues. I emailed the Consolidated engineer about this. Then I thanked him and asked him to pass along a thanks to the responsible staff. I suggested a policy be implemented for something that’s really just common sense. A suggestion that Consolidated keep a line of communications open with customers. The local folks never got back to me even once during this entire fiasco. We adhere to that here at CharlesWorks.

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