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UPDATE5 Sky Broadband and Talk Outages Hit North West England

Friday, October 17th, 2014 (8:46 am) - Score 2,003

Customers of Sky Broadband’s service in the North West of England, particularly those who reside in and around the Liverpool and Manchester areas, have been hit by a major service outage this morning after the operator reported problems at multiple telephone exchanges in the region.

At the time of writing the disruption, which also affects some of Sky’s telephone services, isn’t being reported by other ISPs (except Easynet’s services on the same network of course) and so it either hasn’t been reflected by them yet or more likely the issue is isolated to Sky’s own unbundled (LLU) platform.

Affected Exchange Areas:

Bromborough (lvbro), Eastham (lveas), Neston (lvnes) Birkenhead (lvbir) Claughton (lvcla), Mountwood (lvmou), Padgate IVpad), Frodshaw (lvfro), Manley (lvman), Manor Park (lvmpk), Runcorn East (lvrne), Runcorn Main (lvrnm), Rock Ferry (lvroc), Wallasey (lvwal) Arrowebrook (lvarr), Caldy (lvcal) Heswall (lvhes) Hoylake (lvhoy) Irby (lvirb), Ramsbottom (lcram), Tottington (lctot), Bury (mrbur), Denton (mrden), Hyde (mrhyd), Pendleton (mrpen), Eccles (mrecc), Heaton Moor (mrhea ) Disley (mrdis), Stepping Hill (mrste), Stockpoort (mrsto) Swinton (mrswi), Walkden (mrwal) Wythenshawe (mrwyt), Alderley Edge (mrald) Chelford (mrchl), Mobberley (mrmob) and Wimslow (mrwil).

Sky are understandably receiving a high volume of calls about the issue, which is believed to have started during the early hours of this morning. The official update was posted at 5:34am, but we were seeing complaints crop up a few hours in advance of that (starting at around midnight).

As usual Sky are being coy with details of the situation, although apparently engineers are now on site and working to fix the problem as soon as possible. Sky has already said “sorry” for the incident and promised an update once more is known.

UPDATE 8:59am

After a bit of digging we found a historic update where Sky warned that “essential maintenance” was due to take place in Manchester between midnight and 6am this morning, which might be too much of a coincidence to ignore. Sky said: “Essential maintenance work is taking place in Manchester between 00:00 to 06:00 on 17/10. During this time customers will experience a loss of their broadband and talk services.”

It’s possible that the maintenance may not have gone to plan, although this would at least explain why customers were experiencing problems prior to the major outage report surfacing.

UPDATE 9:29am

Sky has just updated their original report to say: “We understand from our technical teams that the fault has been caused by complications with planned network maintenance. Engineers are on site and work to fix the issue is still on-going,” which confirms our earlier speculation.

In edition we separately understand that some of the field engineers, which have been deployed to a site in Manchester, include a “Splicing crew” (broken fibre cable?).

UPDATE 11:26am

The engineers claim to have now identified the fault and Sky said they are “currently working to re-patch affected fibres in order to restore service to the network“. Easynet are carrying a similar update, except unlike Sky they’re predicting that the fault will be fixed within the next hour.

UPDATE 2:10pm

Well 12:30pm came and went, with Easynet now saying that the issue is “still ongoing” and no estimated fix time has been given. At this point the service has been down for 14-15 hours and the efforts to fix it have also resulted in Didsbury (mrdid) and Rusholme (mrrus) suffering related outages.

UPDATE 18th October 2014

Customers reported a return to normal service yesterday evening and Sky’s official service status page now gives the green light of happiness to represent broadband connectivity, albeit following the usual trend of lacking any tangible explanation for why people spent nearly the entire day without being able to get online. Meanwhile Easynet still lists the case as open.

Leave a Comment
8 Responses
  1. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

    [17/10/2014 08:13:12]
    Field Engineer ETA 9am

    [17/10/2014 09:21:07]
    Field Engineer and Splicing crew are onsite in Manchester


    37 exchanges taken out by a fibre break.

    1. Avatar Ignitionnet says:

      Failed upgrade prior to this – potentially a backhaul upgrade that went pearshaped and ended up forcing a rollback, or new circuit not being tested properly and not coming into service.

  2. Avatar steven says:

    Not happy been off sinse half 11 last night time to change provider I think they can’t even update us with a good answer to when it will be back on

  3. Avatar ed martin says:

    ours is only recently back on – phone lines too – the day was a (very peaceful) write off

  4. Avatar ed martin says:

    should have said above – location is neston

  5. Avatar No Clue says:

    Impressive serious fibre breaks fixed in about 24 hours.

  6. Avatar Sledgehammer says:

    How about OFCOM making a rule that all ISP’s should tell the public what the cause of any outage was?

    1. Avatar Raindrops says:

      Good idea, i would go a step further and set timelines for specific types of outages to be fixed by. In this case several fibre breaks fixed in a day was pretty good.

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