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UPDATE6 Unusual Internet Routing Problem Hits Sky Broadband Users

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016 (7:59 am) - Score 5,233

Customers of Sky Broadband (Fibre) are this morning reporting an unusual Internet routing or Domain Name System (DNS) related problem, which means that some websites and online servers work (e.g. IPv6 versions of Google, Facebook and YouTube) and many others (e.g. IPv4 sites) do not.

At the time of writing Sky, despite a huge influx of complaints that began at around 3am this morning, still has not acknowledged the problem and their support staff on Twitter claim they “can’t see any issues.” Never the less a quick look at the ISP’s Facebook and Twitter support feeds clearly show a problem, which appears to be popping up all over the UK.

In all cases the broadband service and router lights all report to have connected normally, yet when customers try to load most websites (except those highlighted above) and other online services they find themselves unable to do so. The fault appears to be related to Sky’s Internet routing rather than the customers hardware. Rebooting the router will make no difference.

UPDATE 8:23am

After several hours of complaining, Sky’s support team have finally acknowledged the problem. However their website’s Service Status page still reports no issues.

UPDATE 8:33am

A bit of checking with some local Sky Broadband customers reveals that the issue appears to be sporadic, with some customers able to use the Internet fairly normally (albeit apparently a bit slower than usual) and many others not. The groups we checked with were split between two different local telephone exchanges.

It’s separately been noted that Telecity (a major datacentre) had another power issue last night in their Harbour Exchange, which might potentially be related. Regular readers will recall that a similar group of incidents caused two days of Internet routing chaos last month (here).

UPDATE 9:02am

The fault appears to be predominantly affecting customers of Sky Fibre (FTTC / VDSL) based broadband packages rather than their older ADSL2+ using services. Sky’s official service status page now reflects this.

Sky Service Status Update

If you have Sky Fibre or Sky Fibre Unlimited in your home, you may not be able to get online at the moment. We’re investigating the fault now and we’re sorry for any inconvenience caused.

UPDATE 10:16am

We can confirm that Internet connectivity should be starting to return to normal, at least that seems to be what customers are reporting and is confirmed by our own local experience.

UPDATE 10:37am

A Sky spokesperson has now official said that the problem is “resolved” and they’ve also apologised for “any inconvenience caused.” Meanwhile we are still chasing Sky for a fuller explanation of what went wrong.

UPDATE 6:59pm

Sky informs us that they made some overnight “upgrades to our network“, which unfortunately impacted Sky Fibre customers’ ability to get online. It’s not clear what those upgrades were.

Leave a Comment
16 Responses
  1. Avatar Mr Angry

    Telecity had another power issue last night in Harbour Exchange. I suspect these issues are related.

    • Avatar RevK

      That was a notified and planned upgrade/repair in Telecity, one feed at a time, so any dual fed kit should not have suffered any outage.

  2. Avatar FibreFred

    Wow tele’s rep is taking a kicking

    • I did think after the second incident last month, “don’t bad things always happen three times in a short space of time?” 🙂 . Maybe this is the third, but it seems a bit different and only Sky is reporting issues. Mind you Sky escaped many of July’s problems.

  3. Its a shame Sky wont let their customers switch there DNS provider.

    Using Google or Open DNS you avoid the isps DNS servers, and get a better service

  4. Avatar Jazzy

    I am on Sky Fibre in Newcastle upon Tyne and had no issues

  5. Avatar Andy

    My Sky Fibre is back up now, I’m in Glasgow

  6. Avatar karl

    Fixed in about 3 hours, well done to them.

  7. Avatar Sean

    7 seems pretty shocking to me

    • Avatar Dragon

      On a Consumer ISP which has no SLA’s to speak of it’s not terrible, it depends what the problem was and if replacement hardware was required, also how complex it was to figure out the root cause and fix it.

      People tend to think of networking as plug and play as that’s what they’re used to at home, it’s far from it in the enterprise/carrier world.

      Should a large carrier have resiliency, in the core at least yes … but even when you do have resiliency it’s still possible to break things to the point where that doesn’t help which is probably what happened here.

    • Avatar karl

      “7 seems pretty shocking to me”

      Im sure it does unless its BT.

  8. Avatar MikeW

    More proof that the words “robust” and “broadband” can’t be used in the same sentence in the UK. Thanks Ofcom.

  9. Avatar Vestas

    Looking at the syslog output from the Sky router I can see that at 00:27 on 2/8/16 the router was remotely rebooted by Sky.

    This is usually the time that Sky load new firmware to the router/force reboots as its outside the timescales DLM uses for resyncs. I’m pretty certain that the firmware revisions didn’t change so it’ll be for a network change.

    I have a static IPv4 address (Sky Fibre Pro) and have had IPv6 enabled for over a year (old beta tester) so I rather suspect that I wouldn’t have been affected.

    Next door however were affected (Sky Q boxes, Sky Fibre Standard) and I’m pretty sure that whats happened is that IPv6 has been turned on for all users on this “exchange”. The forced reboots of the routers should have allowed a managed transition per “region” but someone obviously screwed the IPv4 DHCP/routing 🙂

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