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UPD5 Slow Web and Routing Issues Return to UK ISP BE Broadband and O2

Friday, Apr 20th, 2012 (9:15 am) - Score 2,549

Customers of internet provider Be Broadband UK are being affected by a “so called routing issue” this week that appears to be causing difficulty when trying to access websites (some are slow and others won’t load). The problems appear to be eerily reminiscent of those that traumatised the ISP through much of February (here).

The official BE service status (O2 Wholesale) page, which notes how the issue began on 14th April 2012, merely states that only “some” of their customers are “having problems accessing certain web sites” and that BE are working to resolve the issue. Separately customers are also having trouble getting their e-mails delivered to @btinternet.com, @btopenworld.com and @yahoo.com addresses.

BE Status Update – 14/04/2012 13:00

Some of our customers are having problems accessing certain web sites. Please be aware that we are working hard to resolve this as soon as possible. Thank you for your understanding and please accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused.

But the most recent update, which was posted to BE’s private members-only forum and yesterday pasted into the public domain by the BEUsergroup, points to a worsening problem: “Many customers are not able to load different web pages. For others they are loading extremely slow. This is the so called routing issue.”

We’ll keep an eye on this as the last time such a problem occurred it got steadily worse and began affecting O2’s Home Broadband customers as well.

UPDATE 21st April 2012

A web host called Melbourne Server Hosting, which is based in Manchester, appears to have tracked the problem down to either the London Internet Exchange (LINX) or one of the biggest connections into LINX itself.

April 20, 2012 16:19 By Melbourne Support

Users on BE-There/Orange/O2 broadband may have been unable to access our network for a short period of time.

Upon investigation, we tracked this down to an issue with either LINX (The London Internet Exchange) or one of the bigger networks connection into LINX itself.

As a precautionary measure, we’ve disabled our connection into LINX over the weekend.

Prior to that another update stated that, “We have re-enabled our LINX connectivity after Telefonica have confirmed a work-around has been put in place whilst they diagnose the problem further. End-to-end connectivity between Melbourne and Telefonica seems stable at this point.” But BE Broadband has made no mention of any changes via their service status page.

In an even earlier update Telefonica (O2/BE) are said to have performed “some emergency maintenance” to replace “faulty hardware and restore stability to their infrastructure“, although this apparently failed to rectify the problem for Melbourne, at least until the above mentioned workaround was introduced.

UPDATE 23rd April 2012

Still no update to the official service status page and in the meantime several new and apparently related topics have cropped up on O2’s own Home Broadband Support Forum, which shows that the issue is indeed also affecting customers of BE’s parent provider too (we’ve edited the news title to reflect that).

Separately O2 has also adjusted its Home Broadband package speeds down from ‘up to 18Mbps’ to ‘up to 16Mbps’, which is as a result of the ASA’s new speed rules. Meanwhile BE still advertise ‘up to 19Mbps’ on their top packages.

UPDATE 24th April 2012

The BEUsergroup has posted a new fix video that shows customers how to change their dynamic BE or O2 IP address, which also helped to work around some of the problems when this same issue cropped up in February 2012 (this doesn’t work for Static IP users unless you request your ISP to swap you onto a dynamic solution instead, which is effectively a downgrade).

UPDATE 25th April 2012

BE has finally managed to issue a small service status update.

Update 24/04/2012 16:53

This has been caused by a problem at one of the third party peering platforms we use to route traffic across the internet. Although our partner is working to fix the problem, to enable customers to reach these websites we are putting in place a temporary solution which we hope will fix most, if not all of the problems. We really hope to have service back to normal shortly.

Initial reports show that the temporary fix seems to be working, although the last fix attempt in February 2012 only worked for awhile until the same problem cropped up again this month.

UPDATE 2nd May 2012

BE’s service status page was updated yesterday to read: “We are happy to inform you that the problem with the third party peering platform, which caused no connectivity to certain websites, is now resolved. We’re sorry for any inconvenience caused.” Hopefully this time they mean it.

By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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