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UPDATE2 Sky Broadband Customers Hit by Outage in Central England

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016 (4:42 pm) - Score 1,492

A large number of Sky Broadband’s Internet and phone customers in the “South Midlands” area of England currently appear to be suffering from a significant service outage, which is affecting quite a wide area.

At this stage very little is known about the incident, although it did appear to start at around 3pm and seems to be affected a number of telephone exchanges around areas like BIGGLESWADE, GREAT BARFORD, LOWER SHELTON, OLNEY, STOKE GOLDINGTO, AMPTHILL, CARDINGTON, HARROLD, NORTH CRAWLEY, RAVENSDEN, SILSOE, BEDFORD, COLMWORTH, HAYNES, NEWPORT PAGNELL, SANDY, TURVEY, BLUNHAM, CRANFIELD, KEMPSTON, OAKLEY, SHEFFORD, FLITWICK, HEXTON, SHILLINGTON, TODDINGTON, CRANFIELD and WILSTEAD.

UPDATE 6:50pm

As is not uncommon in this industry, the problem appears to have been caused by the break of a core fibre optic cable (this is normally due to accidents by third-party contractors).

Sky Status Update

We understand from our on site engineers that the problem has been caused by a fibre-cable break. Specialist engineers have been requested.We’ll provide an update on progress this evening.

We’re sorry for the continued inconvenience.

UPDATE 17th Aug 2016

The problem was finally resolved early this morning and here’s a picture of what happened. Ouch!

Leave a Comment
19 Responses
  1. JSN says:

    We understand from our on site engineers that the problem has been caused by a fibre-cable break. Specialist engineers have been requested.We’ll provide an update on progress this evening.
    We’re sorry for the continued inconvenience.
    Update: 16th August, 18:37

  2. Ignition says:

    Great to see LLU operators continuing to put big groups of exchanges onto daisy chains with loads of single points of failure.

    What a mess our market is when a single fibre break can have such impact.

    1. FibreFred says:

      Yes very poor, can you imagine what a sky fttp rollout would look like ? 🙂

  3. MikeW says:

    Need to stop buying up sports rights, and invest in a proper network.

    Or give up on trying to do comms, and go back to TV instead.

    1. Chris says:

      To be fair they have less “newsworthy” outages than BT.

    2. MikeW says:

      Then again, not many who create or read the news understand the concepts behind high availability.

      Remember this outage was both the “best efforts” broadband as well as the voice network. Some of that deserves better robustness. Well, all of it deserves better, but for some of it, it is mandated.

    3. Ignition says:

      Outages on BT depend what you’re referring to. The phone service on Sky uses the same fibre network as the broadband, so if you’re in the wrong place a break on any one of a number of fibre links will see your broadband and phone disappear.

      The recent newsworthy outages were on the BT Retail ISP. The underlying networks seemed to be fine. BT Wholesale’s network is way more resilient than at least most LLU operators. LLU operators make extensive use of daisy chains for cost purposes, Wholesale are transport resilient pretty much everywhere.

  4. Ignition says:

    Some of the Twitter responses to Sky are quite special. People complaining about paying ridiculous amounts for their WiFi. From Sky. Extortionate. People demanding compensation and furious as their broadband had been down for a whole 6 hours.

    This is the market Ofcom created. Well played to them. People expect the moon on a stick and want to pay a price that wouldn’t buy a lolly on a stick.

    1. dragoneast says:

      Drama queens. Not an Ofcom creation, though, responsible as they are for a lot else of nonsense besides.

  5. Karl says:

    EEk what carnage dred to think how long it would take BT to fix that.

    1. TheFacts says:

      Maybe they use the same contractors…

    2. FibreFred says:

      Trolling karl please see the site rules

    3. Karl says:

      Why would Openreach need contractors for that job?

    4. Ignition says:

      They don’t dig up pavements and roads themselves, they have civil engineering contractors to do it, same as everyone else.

      Openreach would blow and splice the fibre either side of the break, the contractor would handle the dig to reach and repair the ducting, then the reinstatement.

    5. Ignition says:

      Just FYI, Karl, it may well have been Openreach fibre that was cut. Unlikely to have been Sky’s own, would’ve belonged to Openreach, Virgin Media, Vodafone or AN Other. Sky own their core network and it’s resilient, they rent the backhauls and most of those aren’t for cost reasons.

    6. karl says:

      Ah that makes sense why the repair was a bit slow.

  6. finaldest says:

    When you bury infrastructure in the dirt this is inevitable.

    The guy who was digging the hole however probably wished he stayed at home as he no doubt never heard the end of it.

    However, 6hrs to fix is not to bad.

    1. Oggy says:

      It wasn’t fixed in 6 hours.

  7. John Miles says:

    At the end of the day the subscriber either expects an outage of 6 – 12 hrs every 10 years or so from local fiber cuts or pays significantly more every month of those 10 years for a more resilient broadband network (and its only a case of being ‘more resilient’, in all ‘consumer networks’ some parts are protected and there will be other single points of failure ).

    The catch is that it is not an individual decision, every subscriber on that network has to be willing to pay extra.

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