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back to article BT broadband packs up again - second big outage in a fortnight

BT has once again suffered what appears to be a major network outage affecting what the company described as "multiple areas". A simple update on BT's customer status page currently reads: We're really sorry but we've got a problem at the moment affecting our broadband service, which means that some of our customers will be …

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J P

Perhaps they're just warming up for the Olympics when everyone in the South East is supposed to be working from home?

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FAIL

In a BT video interview a few months back they actually suggested everyone needs to their normal work places, as their domestic bandwidth will be limited during the Olympics. Good to see that after 5 years of planning they have added the capacity needed. Naturally this video has been deleted, but I was fortunate enough to watch the web-broadcast live.

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Anonymous Coward

Our outdated networks of phone lines and connections are creaking with overload.

Today it goes down here and there, tomorrow the country and on Tuesday, at 11.23am the world!

Doom I say, doooooooom!

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Anonymous Coward

Hmmm

Wonder where all their engineering resources are at the moment?

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Joke

Re: Hmmm

Up a pole in deepest Norfolk. Once he's done that he'll get onto the broadband.

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Meh

One of our BT Infinity lines fell over this morning so we switched over to the other one which is fine. If they both fall over, I'll be bothered to try and fix it.

My point is, though, that I would be willing to bear a hundred years of such service from BT in preference to ever having to deal with TalkTalk again. A couple of days ago they started to try and invoice me again for a service that they cancelled a year ago - cancelled through sheer incompetence and deceit on their part. Something good came of it though - it prompted me to create a diagram that shows where TalkTalk appear on the customer service continuum: http://revs.org/blog/where-does-talktalk-appear-on-the-customer-service-continuum/

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Anonymous Coward

Talktalk not bad for me

However I had a nightmare trying to sort out the Old Man's broadband with BT. It had a stuck B-RAS profile of 500kbps. After 4 engineers visits, insistence there was nothing wrong at the exchange (less than a mile away) and multiple calls dealing with call centre numpities eventually they said oh it's an exchange fault. This took 4 weeks to resolve. Grrrrrrrr

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Anonymous Coward

Was down in Nottingham

back now though.

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Ours was down for about an hour. Back up now and working fine. Annoyed by the fact BT couldn't be arsed to answer their support line. In Harrogate

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Anonymous Coward

12 sites down

I think we realised that BT had a problem before they did ...

12 sites down, 5 sites up ...

for once in their lives Demon Internet were not the ones that were taking us out.

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Meh

Re: 12 sites down

I've always found Demon really reliable for me. It's been down once in the five years since we've been a customer. That was an epic 5 day outage that included our voice line for the first 2 days and was about a fortnight before my wife was due to give birth. In that case a BT Engineer had been working in the cabinet 20 yards down the road just before it went down, but you'd be a fool and a charlatan to think it was related - complete coincidence according to Openreach!

We're looking at moving from Demon, but that's purely down to their frankly ridiculous FUP, which chops your speeds to 128K, but gives you no option to pay for extra when you use over 50GB per 30 days.

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dak

Re: 12 sites down

That was why I left them a month ago after 15 years(!). What made it worse was that their tech support told me that the data slurping was due to TV downloads when in fact we had a mail client continually refreshing its database.

With Plusnet now. Dumped BT at the same time. An easy change over, and the broadband is seven times faster.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: 12 sites down

Not really dumped BT have you? given that Plusnet is a subsiduary of BT, though have to admit I am thinking of using them, 'cos at least thir FUP and shaping are published, rather than BT's hidden in the web equivilent of downstairs in a filing cabinet behind a door with a sign that mentions leopards.

Are Plusnet any good?

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Re: 12 sites down

"Are Plusnet any good?"

I share a bus with half their CS workforce every morning (based in Sheffield); from observation they seem fairly clued up guys.

Not had reason to use them though.

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Bronze badge

Re: 12 sites down

Was with plusnet, moved to o2. Better prices, better speeds, better FUP (on 'the works' use as much as you like, when you like, there may be a limit, but I haven't found it yet.)

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Vic
Silver badge

Re: 12 sites down

> I've always found Demon really reliable for me.

They're a pain when there's a problem, though.

I had a customer with a Demon connection. It had failed, and I had to get it sorted pronto.

Their "help" line looked at the account, and proclaimed "Oh, that's a business account. I'm not trained to do Business support".

Three times they cut me off before I got someone who would actually look at it.

Vic.

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Trollface

Roma'

Maybe the scrap value of glass is on the up!

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Anonymous Coward

Wobble in Essex

Our 3 lines at the office were OK, but my home Infinity went down for a while, but it's back now.

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Portsmouth

Waterlooville, Cosham and Central exchanges are/were affected. Modems all showing Showtime but CHAP authentication is being thrown back, bizarrley I can see the authentication going through then the process restarts and throws the firewall for a loop as it was told the login was ok.

BT Broadband customers are popping back up onto our radar but no Infinity users have come back up yet.

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Unhappy

I don't mind the outages. I mind the speed being less than half a percent of what we pay for!

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Anonymous Coward

multiple lines down nationwide

We had multiple sites across the country down, however not every line we had with them.

was down for about 45mins then all sites back up again at the same time.

Looked like a Primary Radius server fault and as "richard 7" mentioned Chap was timing out then we were given a private IP - suspiciously similar to the test ip BT give out for BT_test user accounts.

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Re: multiple lines down nationwide

Yes, it most definitely wasn't restricted to London, or even South - we had two customers in the North West go down.

I have out of band access to one site, and yes, I saw the private addressing as well.

It gets interesting when you use automated monitoring to watch customer connections - you just wouldn't believe how many are taken down, and how frequently, by routine work in the early hours of the morning.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: multiple lines down nationwide

"It gets interesting when you use automated monitoring to watch customer connections - you just wouldn't believe how many are taken down, and how frequently, by routine work in the early hours of the morning."

And when would you expect this necessary routine work takle place? Noon?

Wow, honestly, the general public's reaction to outages is just extreme.

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FAIL

Re: multiple lines down nationwide

"And when would you expect this necessary routine work takle place? Noon?"

I think he was suggesting that "routine" work not expected to affect users is cocked up more often than one might expect and subsequently causing unexpected, non-routine outages.

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FAIL

Re: multiple lines down nationwide

Ditto for us. Just like to tell BT that Swansea ISN'T anywhare near London - but then if they couldn't check on google maps...

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Re: multiple lines down nationwide

So some PFY typo'd 1pm instead of 1am. Hence the 24hr clock!

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Anonymous Coward

Re: multiple lines down nationwide

I submit our branch office in freaking Ayr as candidate for northenmost affected site. IT manager drove all the way there to have it stumble back to life shortly before his arrival.

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Irony

People bitching on the internet about their internet being down.

Also, I love the new "man in the street" approach seen on el reg and other sites: When a story breaks, find some "Outraged of Tunbridge Wells" on Twitter, post a screenshot of them #moaning #their #asses #off.

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Thumb Up

Re: Irony

Thats because I have 'failover to GPRS' on the firewall :P

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Bronze badge

Re: Irony

We're a school with 380 pupils, we have 2 BT lines here, both were knocked out simultaneously (as in, died before Linux could spot a dead route). So our load balancing / failover of them didn't help any (I know it's not proper failover because it's the same exchange but one line is usually always up when the other is down - and, yes, strange disconnects at 5-to-9 and 6 am aren't unusual at all, so much so I have text-control of the ADSL router's power so I can reboot them remotely if we need to VPN in).

Fortunately, we have experience of this (despite being so close to the exchange, I could lend them some Ethernet cable and get a better connection) so we have the same 3G stick that provides the SMS text reception also stuck into the Linux server permanently and failover to it manually when we want to. Costs us about £2 for the day on T-Mobile or whatever but works good enough to run a school off with appropriate caching and certainly better than nothing.

We also saw the 172.0.0.0 subnet address and the usual junk (i.e. getting the right IP but can't do anything with it in some kind of "dead" session, etc. - hence why we have the remote-power-cycle system in the first place).

But BT service status said "next time for resolution: 15:00" at one point so I didn't wait for them to try to resolve it. Seems to be fixed now, but my boss here just moved locally and he has the same problems constantly with BT too.

Weirdly, on PlusNet, I never had an outage in nearly 10 years, and certainly never for longer than a router-reboot, and didn't get these kind of constant disconnects (lucky if we get 48 hours before one of the two routers needs to be kicked again) or false IP's when it did come back up (wonder how many home users are still running on a 172 address that doesn't route now and will be until they reboot their router?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Irony

"We also saw the 172.0.0.0 subnet address "

Remeber private addresses would be between 172.16.0.0 172.32.0.0. A 172.0.0.0 address is public and addressable.

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Bronze badge

Re: Irony

It was in the reserved local subnets, yes. But more importantly, it wasn't our assigned static IP so I spotted it because of that, if nothing else!

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Headmaster

Hubs?

"...we are advising customers to reboot their hubs...". Leave your firewalls well alone and just power cycle your hubs? That'll work!

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FAIL

Re: Hubs?

Yes the BT Homehub, you may of seen it advertised for the last x bloody years.

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3

Re: Hubs?

You saw the pedant icon and know what a proper hub is?

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FAIL

Re: Hubs?

Yes, it's the centre of something, such as a wheel or propeller, or maybe the central focal point of a some sort of activity.

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Re: Hubs?

Good. Now pop in to the nearest PC world, ask them for a hub and then try getting it to connect to the internet.

In the 10+ years we had our BT connection it's always been Cisco kit they've supplied. Had they ever phoned us up and said to "reboot our hub" we'd have ditched them a damn site sooner than we did.

*Burns pedant hat*

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Hubs?

"Yes the BT Homehub, you may of seen it advertised for the last x bloody years."

May *have*, ARGH.

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Boffin

Re: Hubs?

Actually if you went to your nearest PC world and asked for a hub, they'd probably sell you a router, after first ensuring it's got a DSL modem if you're using Virgin Cable or Satellite, or just a regular ethernet WAN port if you use ADSL. Except they'd call it a DSL router if it was actually the one for Cable broadband.

Actually, they'd probably sell you a Norton antivirus at only half the double normal price. And a USB cable that costs £40.

In point of face, there's (probably) no such thing as a network hub any more. About 15 years ago they got replaced by proper network switches. A network hub allows for all the bandwidth (say 10Mbit/s) to be shared with all the ports, thus creating a massive slowdown when people actually start working. A network switch allows for much greater bandwidth as it switches traffic between relevant ports almost as fast as the circuit allows (10/100/1000Mbit/s). A switch and a hub effectively do the same thing from and end user point of view. So a switch is like a sort of... hub... I suppose.

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Bronze badge

"In and around London"

That must be a very broad definition, here in Derbyshire, out of four sites on BT business Broadband two went down, two stayed up, even though they are all connected to the same exchange. Very peculiar...

Those two that were down, had a full ADSL session, and a PPP session, and had IP's assigned, they just weren't passing traffic.

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Silver badge

Re: "In and around London"

It is a fail.

They should of used standard geographic terms. The correct method is "London" and "Outside London".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "In and around London"

Should *have*, sheesh :D

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Anonymous Coward

A clue for Lost all faith

Nobody says "should of", they and you say "should uv". That should remind you why we spell it "should've".

See also: must've, could've, might've, I've, etc.

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FAIL

In and around London they say I did not know that Newcastle had been moved !!! seeing as Companies around that area were out as well...

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Anonymous Coward

When you're Moon People(tm) like BT, Newcastle does seem pretty close to London, anyway...

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WTF?

Also Worcester it seems...

Starting getting random behaviour on FTTC line around midnight last night (connection would work for around 3MB worth of traffic and then just stop, but still believing it's sync'ed and connected).

My home network appears to have disappeared entirely around 12:20 (pm) today now.

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Anonymous Coward

That's...

... why I prefer to have two different ISPs on my load balancing/fail-over type router thingy.

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Meh

Huawei

One does wonder how much of this is down the "value offering" from Huawei that BT purchased ?

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Irony-o-meter

Twitter user angry at BT's suggestion to check online still manages to tweet. Misplaced anger perhaps?

Also worth checking the irate sense of injustice of seemingly expecting a five 9's level of service but paying peanuts.

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FAIL

Re: Irony-o-meter

Have Twitter removed the ability to twit by sending an SMS text message then? You know, that clever system Twitter is founded on.

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