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UK ISP Customers Suffer Website Access Problems Due to Level3 Outage

Friday, June 12th, 2015 (1:31 pm) - Score 3,129

A number of broadband ISPs and their customers in the United Kingdom, specifically those that move some Internet traffic over the global Level(3) Communications network, are currently being impacted by an outage that may create problems for you when attempting to access certain websites.

According to BGPmon, a leak in the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) by Telekom Malaysia and Level(3) is causing “significant uptake in BGP messages and global packets loss“. Several UK Internet providers, such as PlusNet, have reported a seemingly related problem with Domain Name Servers (DNS) and website access.

In a brief statement Level(3) informed ISPreview.co.uk, “Our network is currently experiencing service disruptions affecting customers in EMEA and globally. Ensuring the stability of our network and communications services is our primary concern and we are dedicated to minimizing impact to our customers. Our technicians have isolated the issue and are currently are completing the necessary remedial works. We are starting to see normal service return.”

Problems like this will almost certainly affect multiple ISPs, although they are often sporadic (won’t affect all websites or access) and providers can usually find ways of correcting for the issue. We expect this should be resolved quite quickly, but if you do notice problems getting to certain websites this afternoon then this may be partly to blame.

UPDATE 2:47pm

Some reports indicate that the underlying issue is now resolved, although as always it can take a bit of time before the Internet returns to normal. Also here’s an updated statement from Level(3): “Level 3’s network, alongside some other ISP’s, experienced service disruptions affecting customers in EMEA and globally on June 12th. Maintaining a reliable, high-performing network for our customers is our top priority. Our network technicians worked to resolve the issue, and services have been widely restored. The root cause has been isolated and linked back to an Asian provider issue; we are working closely together to address this and prevent it from recurring.”

Leave a Comment
6 Responses
  1. Avatar dave says:

    that would explain why the website http://www.vine.co (the vine app’s website address for desktops) doesn’t work for me and hasn’t for around 24hrs.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Try using a free DNS like OpenDNS or Google Public DNS and see if that fixes it. The level 3 issue only really began this morning and seems to have grown.

  2. Avatar James says:

    @Dave. I am on Zen and it’s working for me. Same on cable

    1. Avatar DanielM says:

      they have many uplinks/peers (cogent, he, Abovenet, BT)

  3. Avatar cyclope says:

    Level3’s DNS servers where unreachable also for a few hrs, but that isn’t the first time they have been offline in recent months, they used to be very reliable but not any more it would seem

  4. Avatar Kelsi Sadar says:

    You label the situation as Traffic Manipulation tactics, however the Art of Peering whitepaper states that this is done in order to force the potential peer into the relationship through incurring high transit-based costs. Cogent appears to directly peer with Comcast, so how does this align description?

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