back to article UK ISPs crippled by undersea cable snap

A major internet routing outage struck UK telcos over the bank holiday weekend - knackering access to the World of Warcraft website*, the BBC, Amazon, Facebook and other sites for more than 24 hours. It's understood that a submarine cable carrying web traffic snapped between Blighty and the Netherlands, causing headaches for …

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  1. hahnchen
    Thumb Down

    Spent hours on the phone with O2 on Sunday

    Took ages to convince first line support there was a problem, which involved switching my router on and off again ad infinitum.

    Could tell something was broken by looking at traceroutes and comparing that with my not-broken 3G connection.

    Finally got through to second line support, took my details, and told me they'd take a look at it after the bank holiday. Nice work guys.

  2. AdamW

    Re: Spent hours on the phone with O2 on Sunday

    http://irc.beusergroup.co.uk:8080/?channels=Be you get better info from these guys

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I blame Apple.

  4. Bradley Hardleigh-Hadderchance
    Pint

    Don't worry it's just a recursive error.

    They just ripped up some cables when they were laying some new ones.

    See recursion.

    http://www.outpost9.com/reference/jargon/jargon_33.html

    Submarine Commander:

    Yes, sorry 'bout that. Slight tits up. Ripped up some cables when laying some new ones. Shame really.

    Should be ok by morning. Yes, yes, yes, we shall relay all the old cables being ripped up. Unless we rip up any of the new ones... when we are relaying the old ones. If you follow me, sir...Or fail to lay any of the new ones whilst replacing the old ones. Could get a bit sticky sir.

    Sorry!

    Anyway, send us a line, if you can get through sir. Yes, yes, old cable's as good as new cable....

    (mutters under breath) if you can find any fucking cable left by the time we have finished (/muttering).

    At least they didn't have the problem the HMS Banana had. I heard they went six times around the world before they finally run out of fuel.

    See: banana problem /n./

    See:http://www.outpost9.com/reference/jargon/jargon_17.html

    Talk about redundancy.

  5. John H Woods Silver badge

    Re: Don't worry it's just a recursive error.

    You guys probably know this already, but I have just discovered what happens if you google 'recursion'

  6. iRadiate

    spent hours on the phone to 02?

    I saw loss of connectivity too. I just went out and enjoyed the rest of my life during the downtime. Next day all was well.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The lose of a cross channel is common event. It is common enough to have several specialist ships based on the North coast of France just for doing the repairs. Common route protection schemes will detect and reroute sub-second what ever the tech. Even the slowest of routing protocols can figure it out in a minute or two.

    Interroute fibre is meshed. So it does not re-route you it is a commercial not technical issues. It may not be expressed that way in the contract, but premium clients will get resilience. Less valueable clients get less resilience. You get what you pay for.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Bellheads vs Netheads

    "So it does not re-route you it is a commercial not technical issues. It may not be expressed that way in the contract, but premium clients will get resilience. Less valueable clients get less resilience. You get what you pay for."

    Usually it is expressed in no uncertain terms in contracts if a customer is buying protected or unprotected services. Customers may not always understand the implications, or even the technology options if they're unfamiliar with the way wavelength services are delivered, ie wavelengths are generally dumb clocked light. That can be especially critical when buying submarine capacity when fixes often take more than a truck roll. Another common problem is trying to sweat the asset. Two links running <50% good, >50%, not so good in the event of losing one.

  9. Christian Berger Silver badge

    That's what I was thinking

    I mean the whole point of IP is that the routing is automatic. So damage is automatically routed around.

    Seems like a system designed to cope with nuclear war does not withstand real-life unleashed capitalism.

  10. theblackhand
    Mushroom

    Re: Seems like a system designed to cope with nuclear war...

    The idea for surviving a nuclear war was that there would be some way to communicate - the idea wasn't to preserve every part of the network.

    Just consider yourself nuked :-)

  11. /dev/null
    Facepalm

    Re: That's what I was thinking

    You still believe that myth?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What is the problem here?

    Why not just dial into a different BBS?

  13. johnnymotel

    How the heck do they go about re-joining one of these cables?

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    knitting with armour!

    Hibernia Atlantic made some videos showing aspects of submarine cable laying and repairing. Basic fibre splicing is the same as for dry/terrestrial cables. Tricky bits come in dealing with armoured cable and the power. This video shows how jointing is done-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIa-kyYndwQ&list=UUoR_9pS8jCcf-eEArrJnI6Q&index=53&feature=plcp

  15. Wild Bill

    My Be connection was fine yesterday. I even successfully completed my download of every episode of Knightmare.

  16. GreyWolf
    Devil

    "current information suggests that the culprit was a ship's anchor"

    Drunken or lazy captain with an anchor...that's the maritime equivalent of a builder with a JCB...and it happens frequently, despite the cable runs being marked on the bloody chart.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interoute?

    amazed they are still in business

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