Customers of area internet service provider TCT were cut off from Hulu, a popular streaming service, for five days due to an error by a third party. TCT customers trying to use their Hulu accounts …
Customers of area internet service provider TCT were cut off from Hulu, a popular streaming service, for five days due to an error by a third party. TCT customers trying to use their Hulu accounts received an error message saying they were using a virtual private network (VPN) or living in other countries.
TCT techs had been communicating with Hulu, but the streaming service was initially unresponsive. So, the ISP asked its customers who were experiencing the problem to contact Hulu.
“They know who we are, and we got their attention, but we need our customers to call in so we can push the cart forward and get a resolution,” TCT COO Richard Wardell said, prior to the issue being resolved.
Hulu has obligations to the companies it contracts with to only provide certain content in the U.S. The streaming service uses a third party data service to make sure the customers aren’t streaming their content to people in other countries or sharing accounts. This means that Hulu users can’t access content when using a VPN. Although they create more privacy by routing data through a central server, VPNs also make it next-to-impossible to tell who is accessing data, and Hulu blocks anyone using a VPN from streaming content.
Wardell said his techs worked on the problem all weekend, but Hulu was only looking at the information the third party company provided. So, TCT remained in the dark as to what was causing the problem and why Hulu wasn’t fixing it.
TCT customers who experienced the problem could call Hulu’s support number, which would approve an individual’s IP address through a process called “whitelisting.” Yet, this still left the bulk of TCT’s customers without Hulu access.
Finally, on Tuesday, after five persistent days, TCT found a contact with the third party data service provider. The company told TCT it was a human error that misidentified them as the proxy service, as opposed to an ISP; they assured TCT the mistake wouldn’t happen again.
Hulu did not respond to requests for comment as of press time.