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UPD Sky Broadband and Phone Suffers Service Outage in South London

Friday, March 11th, 2016 (3:18 pm) - Score 1,270

Customers of Sky Broadband in South London have been starved of funny cat videos for the past hour after a vital underground fibre optic cable broke and knocked out both local Internet and phone (Sky Talk) services.

Most such breakages occur due to accidental damage by third party contractors, although others can be caused by malicious or criminal damage and related incidents often take several hours to resolve.

Significant breakages have also been known to disrupt local connectivity for several weeks, but this being London means they’ll probably get it resolved before the end of today.. maybe. At least most of those affected can hopefully resort to a reasonable Mobile Broadband connection.

Residents and businesses in the following areas are likely to be affected: Vauxhall, Nine Elms, Brixton, Battersea, Tulse Hill, Streatham, Gipsy Hill, Forest Hill, Dulwich, South Clapham and Balham.

UPDATE 6pm:

The cable break has now been resolved.

Leave a Comment
37 Responses
  1. Ignition says:

    For all the complaints that can be made about BT Wholesale, and there are many, people don’t lose phone or broadband service due to a single fibre break in an urban area.

    This is probably a daisy chain of exchanges with no resiliency at any point on the chain.

    1. Ignition says:

      Putting this into context those London exchanges are apparently a single chain. There are at least 3 BT Wholesale links out of my exchange here in Leeds, one direct to the Leeds Basinghall metro node with backup links via the MSEs at Brighouse and Horsforth.

  2. adam says:

    And they expect people to signup to their unreliable service in order to get sky q!

    At least Bt Openreach have multiple resilicieny in there network!

    1. FibreFred says:

      Lol “Cliff” there’s nothing listed.

    2. Ignition says:

      Do you have a dedicated time in your diary, Deduction/The Facts/Carpetburn, set aside to post here or is it a spontaneous thing?

    3. Cliff says:

      Clearly shows just one of the same areas listed also had issues with BT…
      http://i.imgur.com/IJpXPOM.png?1

    4. Ignition says:

      Yet no BT Wholesale (who I specifically referred to) fault report listed by either A&A or Merula.

      No idea how the BT Retail stuff works.

    5. AndyH says:

      I doubt the two are connected:

      The common fault affecting a number of circuits including this reported fault, involves repairing our service distribution (DP or CAB)=PCP 28 D 638 caused by Criminal damage to our network. We currently have a team working in the network to fix the issue and based on current information service restoration is targeted to be 14/03/2016.

    6. Cliff says:

      “Yet no BT Wholesale (who I specifically referred to)”

      Indeed you did.

      “No idea how the BT Retail stuff works.”

      It uses BT Wholesale does it not?

    7. Cliff says:

      PS the BT Business status page is a mirror copy of the issues on the retail site. I wonder why? Nothing to do with them both being BT Wholesale though eh?

  3. Cliff says:

    “The common fault affecting a number of circuits including this reported fault, involves repairing our service distribution (DP or CAB)=PCP 28 D 638 caused by Criminal damage to our network.”

    @AndyH are the issues in Clapham (another of the listed areas) and Hackney (opposite side of the Thames) also thefts?

    So much for the touted BT “resilicieny” in their network

    1. Cliff says:

      Oh and BTW Ironically the Vauxhall fault which is now cleared on Skys page is also now gone from BTs fixed and removed at virtually the exact same time, exactly when both said it would be cleared (IE 12th March) but obviously different issues which required different work eh?
      LOL.

    2. AndyH says:

      I have no idea about the cause of the Sky problems.

      The Openreach issue I posted had nothing to do with the Sky issue though. It occurred on 8 March at 16:30, affected 358 users on the D-side and was caused by criminal damage.

      I am not so sure why you’re harping on about network resiliency? If someone cuts a phone line, it goes down. Do you purpose some alternative network for telephone line resiliency in the UK?

    3. FibreFred says:

      Deduction is just trolling, do not pursue

    4. Cliff says:

      “I am not so sure why you’re harping on about network resiliency? If someone cuts a phone line, it goes down. Do you purpose some alternative network for telephone line resiliency in the UK?”

      No i understand that entirely it seems Ignition does not though looking at his first post…
      http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2016/03/sky-broadband-suffers-serious-service-outage-south-london.html#comment-164793
      “For all the complaints that can be made about BT Wholesale, and there are many, people don’t lose phone or broadband service due to a single fibre break in an urban area.”

      I perfectly understand you break a cable be it criminal damage or accidental then it breaks the connection.

      Im also not the one that stated anyones resiliency was better, in fact it was a stupid comment about resiliency why i replied.

    5. Sunil Sood says:

      @Cliff

      Actually the point about resiliency is an important one.

      Obviously if a line is damaged between a premise and an exchange – say a cabinet or pole – then it will go down regardless of who the operator is but affect relatively few customers in a very local area.

      However, if a link between telephone exchanges goes down that is much more serious. With BT Wholesale each exchange is connected to at least two others so if one goes down the other link still carries the traffic.

      What Sky appear to have is 11 exchanges (potentially 300,000 households+) all going down because of one single cable incident – so no redundancy/back up there at all for a considerable bit of South London.

      This reminds me of how LLU operators built networks back in 2004 when I was a Be and Bulldog customer – you would not expect the same from a firm like Sky now given their customer base – its LLU done on the [very] cheap.

      Even B4RN has more redundancy than this in their network from what I recall of their website..

    6. peter says:

      From what i can tell looking at various status checkers various areas in London were affected and continue to be affected in some areas for BT.

      If BT have such resiliency in major cities like London why is there currently and very often various areas in London with faults?

      If you look at the Openreach status page and enter various London postcodes there are various ongoing incidents.

      “What Sky appear to have is 11 exchanges (potentially 300,000 households+) all going down because of one single cable incident – so no redundancy/back up there at all for a considerable bit of South London.”

      Im not sure where you get that idea are you thinking of BE/O2 who used to have a mickey mouse ring based network operation like that. SKY certainly do not and in parts of the country makes use of the old Easynet network which ill assure you has various redundancy built in, probably just as much or more than BT in many cities.

    7. AndyH says:

      @ peter/cliff (+ what ever else you’re using) – is there a particular reason you have to use multiple aliases?

      So, which areas in London are currently affected? I see only a fibre issue in Stratford (PCP33/temp service restored). On the copper side, I see issues in Feltham, New Cross, New Southgate, Primrose Hill and Vauxhall. None of them are related to the Sky issues though.

      Sky most certainly do not have the same fibre redundancy as BT. Anyone who works in networking in the ISP business will tell you this…

    8. Ignition says:

      ‘peter’ this paragraph:

      ‘Im not sure where you get that idea are you thinking of BE/O2 who used to have a mickey mouse ring based network operation like that. SKY certainly do not and in parts of the country makes use of the old Easynet network which ill assure you has various redundancy built in, probably just as much or more than BT in many cities.’

      Shows you have no idea what you’re talking about.

      You obviously have no idea what a ‘ring based network operation’ is and no idea that the entire point of rings is that they are resilient to a fibre break – traffic uses the other direction to traverse the ring.

      You also have no idea that Sky connect exchanges together with circuits rented from BT and others. They do not use the ‘old Easynet network’ for this, they collect exchanges together and, using rented circuits, connect groups of them back to their core network which is indeed redundant as it’s a ‘mickey mouse ring based network operation’.

      Sky’s LLU network in London, the same as everywhere else, is actually largely daisy chains and was built this way for cost reasons – handing out free broadband doesn’t leave much cash for resilient backhaul. Only some of the original early Easynet LLU exchanges were a ‘ring based network operation’ and I can’t guarantee they still are now given it’s been a long time since I looked at a map of the Sky network.

    9. Cliff says:

      “@ peter/cliff (+ what ever else you’re using) – is there a particular reason you have to use multiple aliases?

      So, which areas in London are currently affected? I see only a fibre issue in Stratford (PCP33/temp service restored). On the copper side, I see issues in Feltham, New Cross, New Southgate, Primrose Hill and Vauxhall. None of them are related to the Sky issues though.

      Sky most certainly do not have the same fibre redundancy as BT. Anyone who works in networking in the ISP business will tell you this…”

      Try adding Hackney to that extensive list. Oh and no i only post with my name.

    10. peter says:

      ‘Sky’s LLU network in London, the same as everywhere else, is actually largely daisy chains and was built this way for cost reasons – handing out free broadband doesn’t leave much cash for resilient backhaul. Only some of the original early Easynet LLU exchanges were a ‘ring based network operation’’

      All the mentioned affected areas are from the early easynet network days. Sky did not take over until 2005 and i think you will find if you go research on samknows etc that all the mentioned areas had LLU ADSL2+ well before 2005.

    11. MikeW says:

      Sky’s core network can be found in this UKNOF presentation, early 2015.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uQUoO4Wb7s4

      4 core sites, two having fully-meshed connection, the other two being limited to 2 connections. Then all equipment duplicated.

      60ish PoPs, dual-parented.

      Exchanges connected into a PoP. Diagram doesn’t show daisy-chaining of exchanges, but I’m sure it happens. It implies there is no dual connection from exchange up to the PoP layer.

      BT’s core network
      http://www.kitz.co.uk/adsl/21cn_network.htm

      8 inner core nodes, fully meshed.
      12 outer core nodes, triple-parented at least.
      1,100 tier 1 metro nodes, dual parented into the core.
      4,400 other exchanges. Dual-parenting is the norm, except where impractical. No idea how many are considered impractical.

      As for the impact of issues listed on that BT website…
      What people seem to be missing is a matter of scale.

      This article reports a fault in the Sky network that takes every Sky subscriber on 11 exchanges out of service.

      An entry on the BT website indicates there is *some* issue on the exchange, not that every subscriber is affected. Issues related to single PCP might only affect 1-2% of the exchange.

      Unfortunately, there are enough eejits around that cable theft hits more often than anyone would like. Watching the turnover on that page is depressing.

    12. mike says:

      BT is crap, in the 2 years i was with them there were 8 outages, the worst lasting 2 days. Been with Sky now for 3 years and in that time one minor outage that lasted 4 hours. would not go back to BT ever. Better network my backside, rubbish with coward BT employees on places like this defending their rubbish.

    13. Ignition says:

      ‘All the mentioned affected areas are from the early easynet network days. Sky did not take over until 2005 and i think you will find if you go research on samknows etc that all the mentioned areas had LLU ADSL2+ well before 2005.’

      I vaguely remember it. Just vaguely though as it was a while ago. I was working for Easynet before the acquisition by Sky, then obviously carried on working for SNS afterwards.

      Evidently if those exchanges were still a ring either the failover, err, failed or there was already a break in the ring. Alternatively those were no longer a ring and, to cut costs, it’d been converted to a daisy chain.

      Using a ring increases the backhaul costs, and to protect completely involves extra switches too. The only reason it was done was for the Easynet SureStream SHDSL product. That disappeared a while back if I recall, so no business case to maintain rings.

      I wouldn’t be remotely surprised if the contracts on ring members weren’t renewed. Makes no sense to when most of what’s there is best effort residential stuff.

      Regarding Be/O2, their network wasn’t based around rings apart from the aggregation layer. They had some rings because they aggregated exchanges at other BT exchanges rather than having their own POPS as SNS do. These aggregation points were connected via rings, but most exchanges were on daisy chains and fed into the rings at different points.

  4. AndyH says:

    @ Mike/cliff/peter – Just because you don’t like what you read, doesn’t make someone a BT employee. Cheap potshots like that don’t get you anywhere.

    1. Cliff says:

      I did not call you a BT nor Openreach employee nor a employee of anyone anywhere. Although reading this post back…
      http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2016/03/sky-broadband-suffers-serious-service-outage-south-london.html#comment-164822
      It certainly sounds like you are “…our service distribution…”…our network…”
      Found the Hackney fault, have you?
      http://i.imgur.com/4nb5TC1.png

    2. FibreFred says:

      Time to ban another set of the troll usernames ?

    3. Ignition says:

      That’s not the same issue. I see CARPETBURN you still carry the same MO of coming into any discussion with your mind made up, confirmation bias utterly overwhelming, then looking for anything you think is a fact that fits.

      I still vivdly remember your telling me that my Virgin Media 50Mb was hopeless, then when I produced a load of evidence you claimed the tests were being done from a web host I didn’t have any shell access to, and that apparently had a default gateway of a cable modem termination system on the ex-Telewest network in Mortlake, West London.

      http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/3947-virgin-media-to-open-up-broadband-network-to-wholesalers.html

      You were a massive fan of UKOnline then, too.

      Have fond memories of you downloading a picture from the Internet and claiming it was your wife standing next to your projector. That was pretty funny too, especially the way you reacted when someone pointed it out.

    4. Ignition says:

      No, Fred. Evading a ban to a website is actually illegal. The owner of it has explicitly revoked approval to use it, so it’s a computer misuse act thing to carry on.

    5. FibreFred says:

      Well that’s one of my new things learnt for today 😉

    6. Cliff says:

      I have not been banned from here, i have not accused anyone of being a BT employee and i most certainly am not a single individual posting views with many names. Accusations such as those and now the ever so mature name calling all because i pointed out BT suffer and continue to suffer outages all over London though are amusing to say the least.

  5. AndyH says:

    @ Cliff – There are no OR copper/fibre faults in Hackney. There is an ADSL port issue affecting a very small number of BT Wholesale customers.

    “BT suffer and continue to suffer outages all over London” – London is the most densely populated city in the UK. There not an abnormal amount of issues in London, otherwise you would see large numbers of ISPs complaining.

    1. Cliff says:

      “@ Cliff – There are no OR copper/fibre faults in Hackney. There is an ADSL port issue affecting a very small number of BT Wholesale customers.”

      The fault is listed under both phone and broadband faults on Openreaches, BT Retail and BT business websites…

      “A small number of our customers in the areas shown below, may experience a LOSS OF TELEPHONE AND/OR BROADBAND services. We hope to have service restored as quickly as possible and apologise for any inconvenience this may be causing.”

      Hackney…
      Listed under both the ‘Phone’ and “Broadband and Email” sub headings as having issues…
      https://www.bt.com/consumerFaultTracking/public/faults/tracking.do?pageId=31

      “BT suffer and continue to suffer outages all over London” – London is the most densely populated city in the UK. There not an abnormal amount of issues in London, otherwise you would see large numbers of ISPs complaining.”

      I judge on the evidence at hand and each day this week somewhere in London has had issues, why is that if BT have such brilliant resiliency problems in London have been listed everyday this week?

      Or is BT status checker incorrect?

    2. Cliff says:

      PS also if you do not work for BT i fail to see how your opinion on the matter makes you more correct or how you would have more information than what is listed. Just like myself all you should have to go on is the evidence provided by BT status checkers and that says there are issues.

      Where are you getting additional info about faults???????

    3. Ignition says:

      You’re just being obtuse. Comparing a fault that took down 11 exchanges to everything you can find on small copper faults, Openreach issues, issues with a DSLAM line card and whatever else is making the service status page to try and prove equivalence and disprove my premise.

      It doesn’t. A&A saw nothing. No MSO reported by BTW or any ISP. You either have no idea what you’re talking about but insist you’re right, which makes you ignorant, or you’re one of the many guises of CARPETBURN / Truth4Free / The Facts still evading bans to continue trolling merrily which makes you a moron in need of psychiatric treatment.

      Either way do carry on if it makes you happy.

    4. Cliff says:

      1. The Sky fault did not take down 11 exchanges, there was not even complaints on skys own forums. The story even says “Residents and businesses in the following areas are LIKELY to be affected” not WILL be affected.
      2. ALL the BT faults i have mentioned have had longer outages than the sky fault did, if you call pointing out something that is less reliable and fixed slower ‘obtuse’ then so be it
      3. The SKY fault was fixed in under 3 hours according to the news item and time the news item was posted and the fixed update time.
      4. I have already stated i have not been banned from this website twice now
      5. Name calling is childish and just makes you look angry and unable to discuss maturely.

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