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UPDATE String of Network Outages Hit Rural FTTP Broadband ISP Gigaclear

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017 (10:51 am) - Score 3,941

Over the past week or so Gigaclear’s “ultrafast” fibre optic FTTP broadband network, which is focused on connecting tens of thousands of premises in various rural areas across England, has suffered a string of network outages and Internet connectivity disruption.

Network problems are of course quite normal for every broadband ISP and they’re usually location specific, with the worst issues often being caused by third-party contractors cutting through major cables or serious hardware failures. However over the past week or two a seemingly noticeable number of Gigaclear’s normally happy customers have become increasingly frustrated after being hit by a spate of service disruptions, one after the other.

The main problems appear to have started on 23rd January 2017 when a general outage (i.e. NOT area specific) impacted their core network and then another one hit a few days later on 26th January. Much like other ISPs Gigaclear chose not to elaborate on the cause of these problems.

Unfortunately yesterday (31st Jan) saw Gigaclear being hit by yet another “major outage“, which affected their network for much of the afternoon and into the night. This time around the ISP offered a little bit more detail and pointed the finger at a “major problem in a national trunk network.” The service has now been restored and Gigaclear said they “sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused.”

However the disruption, which comes at an awkward time because Gigaclear is currently in the running for several major state aid supported broadband contracts, has raised questions about the resilience of their growing network. We have requested further information on the recent outages from Gigaclear and are awaiting their response, which hopefully will offer a bit more detail than we’ve seen over the past week or two.

In the meantime we note that Gigaclear’s main national trunk network providers have just scheduled essential maintenance to take place between 6th (22:00) and 7th (07:00) of February, which may also result in a few outages but this should at least be restricted to their infrastructure in the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire areas.

Customers will otherwise be hoping for more stability going forwards. However it’s worth remembering that no ISP is immune to major disruption, with BT, Sky Broadband, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and others all having plenty of experience with similarly significant events.

UPDATE 2nd Feb 2017

Sadly we’re still waiting for a comment from Gigaclear’s PR team, although one of their customers has kindly forwarded us an apology message that has just been sent out by the CEO. The letter includes a lot more information on the most recent problem.

Dear Customer

I am writing to you to apologise for the interruptions to your service due to the outages on our network in January: on behalf of everyone here at Gigaclear, sorry.

We aim to provide a service that is both fast and reliable, that lets you quietly enjoy the Internet in the way that suits you best. Unfortunately, due to four different technical problems in the month, some of our customers lost service four times.

The problem on Tuesday, was a loop-back within our core network caused by a misconfiguration in the systems of one of our partners. This meant that although our network was “up”, it passed no traffic for large ranges of our IP addresses, meaning that many customers (on these address ranges) could not access the Internet. This outage was for a total of between 4 hours 46 minutes and 5 hours 11 minutes. To fix the problem we had to identify it first in the partner’s network, which took us more time than we would have liked, but once the partner’s network was reconfigured, the Internet started working again and your service was restored.

This is not the trouble-free Internet access service that everyone at Gigaclear wants to provide you, and we will do better.

Yours sincerely,
Matthew Hare
Chief Executive
Gigaclear plc

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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42 Responses
  1. Ignition says:

    Given the amount they are spending per premises passed building out the access network you’d hope they could implement a more resilient transport / core network.

    Of course as far as transport networks go the same could be said of Sky, TalkTalk, et al, and their daisy chaining of numerous exchanges before reaching their more resilient core.

  2. New_Londoner says:

    It does prove the point that a badly designed or built “full fibre” network will be just as unreliable as one with copper. No amount of moral or optical fibre will change this, nor indeed will a JFDI approach!

    Driving around parts of the Midlands you get the impression that the network is very clearly being built to a price, with some basic decisions on implementation suggesting the current shareholders are not perhaps there for the long-term but are simply building to a size that secures purchase by a larger operator. If not then why on earth would you bury fibre connecting village to the backhaul in soft verge knowing full well that it will be cut if a tractor drives over it in the winter?

    And why no resilient backhaul? Why have regular “planned maintenance ” etc, knowing full well your sales pitch highlights the inherent reliability of your network? As built it has no chance of getting anywhere close to five nines reliability. It could nevertheless deliver a decent exit premium to the shareholders.

    1. gerarda says:

      In the past 4 years I have suffered from one 4 week loss of service and one 6 week one due to the lack of resilience in Openreach’s network. BT have multiple pieces of kit in exchanges but appear to have no ability to reroute traffic in the event of a cable/ducting problem

    2. Chris P says:

      @gerada
      Who was your isp during those failures?

    3. AndyH says:

      If you need resilience, pay for it and take a high service level agreement.

      gerarda is with Plusnet, if I recall correctly, which explains a lot…

    4. gerarda says:

      I was merely responding to New Londoners implication that Gigaclear’s network was less resilient than BTs.

      If your network is reliant on valuable copper then theft is an obvious reason for a point of failure that should be addressed.

    5. gerarda says:

      and that if the implications of the theft/vandalism means it takes weeks not hours to restore the service that is a significantly worse failure

    6. New_Londoner says:

      @Gerarda
      Actually my point was that the Gigaclear network is less resilient than many others, mainly due to design decisions that appeared to be driven by cost considerations. My posts give a number of examples.

    7. Ignition says:

      As far as I am aware no-one has multiple physical paths from premises to termination through different ducts.

      To use that to suggest BTW don’t have more resilience than Gigaclear is ridiculous.

      BTW can be criticised for a few things but a lack of resiliency on their network isn’t one of them.

    8. Ignition says:

      I should make clear that it is of course possible to purchase such services, it just costs basically twice the price as it requires two completely diverse carriers or expensive services, potentially involving construction of new duct and fibre or copper path, from one.

  3. Chris says:

    Gigaclear need to build to a price just as any operator does. Building more resilience costs more money = higher prices = less take up = broken business model. Up to now they have had a good track record, I think it is a bit early to slate them.

    Chris.

    1. New_Londoner says:

      @Chris
      You’re right that all companies have to work within a budget, however IMHO some of the practices that Gigaclear are using suggest a mindset of not building for the medium let alone long-term.

      Too early? Judging but comments on Facebook etc, some customers appear to have been suffering regular problems for months. And some small rural communities that I drive through are still being affected by roadworks many months (I’m pretty sure several have been going for over 6 months). Others that are “finished” have residual material left behind and the quality of the reinstatement work is very poor – I doubt it would pass an inspection.

      If you were planning to run the business beyond a couple of years or so I don’t believe you’d do it this way as you’d end up having to redo much of the work again, effectively rebuilding much of the network from scratch so it if fit for purpose and doesn’t suffer regular (monthly?) outages.

    2. MikeW says:

      The problem is that the government has somewhat tighter requirements on access to emergency services. (*) – Analysis below.

      Having an unreliable broadband network as an adjunct to a reliable voice comms network might meet these requirements.

      However, if you start to tout your broadband network as a complete replacement for the telephone network, then you are implicitly taking on those tighter requirements. That, for example, is one reason that BT’s fibre ONTs come with a backup battery.

      So far, the regulators have been catching up with the reality of VoIP access to 999 numbers. But I don’t think some of the network operators quite follow the full spirit of these regulations in network planning or maintenance, and the regulators haven’t really specified the line between acceptable and unacceptable.

      BT’s telephone exchanges have dual processors, dual buses, multiple diverse routes, backup batteries, backup generators. Calls survive resets. The business model (back then) had to accept the fact that emergency access was sacrosanct.

      Do we see the same for OLTs or MSANs? Are we in danger of getting a worse service here because everyone is chasing a business model that doesn’t take these things into account?

      @Ignition mentions Sky and TalkTalk … and I think their daisy-chains of exchanges mean they have indeed provided a worse-than-acceptable service in this regard.

      From this story, it appears Gigaclear are in the same position.

      I recall there’s a case where KCOM reported itself to Ofcom because it may have accidentally put emergency service access at risk. I wonder if Gigaclear will be doing the same?

      —————————————-
      (*) Requirements on emergency services…

      General condition 3 includes:

      “The Communications Provider shall take all necessary measures to maintain, to the greatest extent possible: […] (c) uninterrupted access to Emergency Organisations as part of any Publicly Available Telephone Services offered.”

      The use of “uninterrupted” seems important. Condition (c) comes just after this condition:

      “(b) in the event of catastrophic network breakdown or in cases of force majeure the fullest possible availability of the Public Communications Network and Publicly Available Telephone Services provided by it,”

      There’s an expectation that the network survives catastrophe, force majeure and *still* provides uninterrupted emergency access.

      The interpretation of this should not be minimised. “Planned maintenance” would be expected to have been planned in such a way as to not lose emergency access – that planning being part of “all necessary measures”. If maintenance cannot avoid this, then alternatives would have to be built into the plan – such as sending our extra patrols into the affected neighbourhood. Handing out temporary mobiles might be another possibility.

    3. MikeW says:

      @New_Londoner is right – it is a mindset thing.

      Whether you are planning, building or operating a network, you need to be in the right mindset.

      In general, our broadband, IP, data mindset has been “best efforts”. If it is to ever replace the PSTN, then it needs a different mindset … and probably needed to have it from day 1.

    4. Steve Jones says:

      I’ll state now that I don’t think broadband services can ever be made as reliable as a special purpose network like the PSTN one. There are just too many “moving parts”. By that I don’t mean the physical elements (although they play a part), but the dozens of network services required to allow an IP network to operate to which must be added all the VOIP parts too. Also, IP networks, by their very nature, are far more open to DoS attacks than a good old PSTN network. IP networks are also vulnerable to configuration errors in remote parts of the network – I recall a routing change in a Asian country a couple of years ago that had a massive effect on unrelated parts of the Internet.

      Of course there’s no reason that the local access network can’t be built to at least as high standards (save that of cost), and optical networks (at least in theory) ought to be less prone to water ingress than copper ones. I just don’t think the whole can ever match a special purpose network like that for PSTN (albeit that even the PSTN network uses IP in parts these days).

      Perhaps the best hope is having alternative services, and that’s where mobile phone networks play their part, although they simply can’t replace high volume data services.

    5. Chris P says:

      @steve jones

      Most of the uk pstn has been migrated to 21cn. This replaces the circuit switched network with an ip network.

      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/BT_21CN

      https://www.btwholesale.com/pages/static/help-and-support/network-information.htm

      All that pstn resilience is built into 21cn. VOIP is an overlay on the consumers data service. To achieve voip resilience you need dual diverse data circuits preferably with dual isp’s and ups power.

      All a lot more costly than a single copper connection to the local cab/exchange and a cheap handset powered by the exchanges ups. Else use a mobile (3G, 4g or 5g connection).

    6. Steve Jones says:

      @ChrisP

      If you read what I wrote, then you’ll see that I noted that the PSTN has been migrated to IP in part. Just because IP is used as protocol on a dedicated network does not mean it is anything but a dedicated network. When used in such a way, there’s no reason why IP can’t equal or exceed the availability levels of the earlier trunk networks.

      That is not the point I’m making. VOIP is not delivered to households using dedicated IP networks. It’s delivered over the Internet, and relies on a large number of Internet services all working reliably, not to mention routing across a massive, shared, multi-purpose network. There’s a host of things – DHCP, DNS, Radius before you even get into the VOIP specific services. Most of these have not relevance at all to the IP networks put specifically in place for PSTN services (lower level network components may, of course, be shared, but those are less vulnerable to Internet service issues).

      So confusing a protocol (IP) with a network (in this case the Internet) is thoroughly missing the point.

    7. MikeW says:

      @ChrisP
      I’m afraid you’ll have to point very specifically at the place which backs up “Most of the uk pstn has been migrated to 21cn. This replaces the circuit switched network with an ip network” and “All that pstn resilience is built into 21cn. VOIP is an overlay on the consumers data service”.

      Generic links to old 21CN information is no good; things have moved on.

      It is hard to tell exactly what state things ended up in, but news reports in 2009 suggest that BT shelved the voice parts of 21CN. BT, of course, dissembled.
      http://www.lightreading.com/ethernet-ip/voip-systems/bt-slows-down-21cn-scraps-converged-service/d/d-id/667448

      COLT says the same thing in 2016:
      http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/review-fixed-call-origination-termination-markets/responses/Colt.pdf

      This post suggested that things were still screwed up with the Ericsson softswitches
      https://forums.theregister.co.uk/forum/1/2009/03/30/huawei_threat/#c_460702

      I can find nothing since 2009 to suggest that anything happened. No noises about Sonus picking up a contract, or Ericsson losing out, or vice-versa. Nothing about lines being transferred. Nothing. I’m sure we would have heard – especially in some of the BTW-customer forums.

      On the contrary, the only real noise we’ve since heard is that BT thinks the PSTN will be turned off by 2025. And that it looks like SOGEA will be one of the ways there.

      Overall, I’m pretty sure our PSTN is still circuit-switched, and still on System X and System Y, and the slightly newer Ericsson “next generation switches” that were added for transit volumes. All except for the 21CN pathfinder areas in South Wales.

    8. MikeW says:

      @ChrisP

      Oh, and even if “all that PSTN resilience were built into 21CN”, it obviously only gets used by BTW and their customers.

      Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin, Gigaclear don’t touch it.

    9. MikeW says:

      @Steve Jones

      Don’t fall into the same trap here…

      VoIP may be carried by an IP network, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be “the internet”.

      BTW’s intentions for a “proper” resilient voice service (as I understand them) would put the voice IP packets into a separate VLAN from the ONT or modem (rather than router, I think) back to OLT/DSLAM. From there, the voice VLANs would be treated independently at the Openreach OLT head-end, and onward through the BTW backhaul.

      In fact, as I further understand it, BTW’s backhaul is not really “the internet”, but is a private network that routes (carefully constrained) VLANs independently. Where DoS packets strike from the public internet, they’d be seen as packets within WBC VLANs, totally independent of the voice VLANs and totally unable to affect the bandwidth (in BTW’s backhaul) allocated to the voice VLANs.

      The voice VLANs effectively exist in a separate compartment of BT’s private network, away from the “public internet”.

      That’s for FVA, which can take voice services to BTW CPs. If BT introduce an equivalent to FVA for SOGEA, I imagine it would work the same way.

      If an end-user signs up to Vonage, then yes … those VoIP packets are indeed travelling through the public internet.

    10. Steve Jones says:

      @MikeW

      I’m very specifically talking about VOIP as it’s currently delivered to householders (and I think most people use the term). I know there are dedicated VOIP systems out there. For example, many office based VOIP systems, but they tend to go through to the PSTN system eventually.

      It may well be in the future that there will be VOIP systems which essentially work from cabinet locations, but I would assumed that it would use a very specific protocol and would not traverse the Internet, or require Internet services. However, I wouldn’t call that VOIP as the term is usually understood at the moment. Presumably it might well use dedicated PSTN ports on hubs in the home.

    11. MikeW says:

      @Steve
      I agree with you what most people consider VoIP to be. But we don’t have to wear the same blinkers.

      FVA, Fibre Voice Access, is BT’s solution to getting voice on FTTP fibre. There are two phone sockets on the ONT for this, which gets wired into the building’s internal wiring.

      It is VoIP, plain and simple. It is live. Just the packets don’t go to the internet.

      NICC standards define NGA Telephony within their “ALA” (Active Line Access, the VULA replacement for LLU) series, especially ND1644-1646. FVA is one of these beasts.

      BT define it within SINs 506 and 509, the Openreach and BTW descriptions for FTTP services.

      It seems likely to me that this FVA/ALA mechanism, added to FTTC and/or SOGEA, is going to be the way that BT envisages the PSTN switch-off.

      Whatever most people think of as VoIP today isn’t likely to be the same VoIP that becomes the replacement for the reliable, robust PSTN.

      In the context of this thread, that’s an important distinction. VoIP, as delivered today over best-efforts broadband internet, is not a robust, reliable replacement for the PSTN. VoIP has the potential to be more robust, delivered a different way.

    12. Chris P says:

      @MikeW

      http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2015/02/list-bt-exchanges-set-spring-21cn-wbc-broadband-upgrade.html

      i couldn’t find any recent articles either other than the ispreview article linked above that mentioned 92% completion in 2015.

      effectively 21cn enables fttc,
      more than 50% premises passed = most
      http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2016/04/bt-openreachs-fttc-dominated-broadband-covers-25-million-premises.html

      take your pick,

      “In fact, as I further understand it, BTW’s backhaul is not really “the internet”, ”

      the internet is a collection of inter connected third party networks, networks peering with each other to get data from one network to another. So yes BTW backhaul is not the internet, BTW backhaul is BTW’s private network. the internet is where BTW peers to others in order to reach unspecified IP addresses over unspecified third party connections. Yes BT provides dedicated Voice channels over its BTW backhaul MPLS, channels with dedicated uncontended BW so won’t be impacted by other BTW customers fully utilising their allocation, its not cheap operating like that.

      Don’t forget BT was pushing voice over fibre a very long time ago, SONET/DSH is / was the backbone of the PSTN, enabling things like ATM, in fact sampling and encoding voice to get more channels over a connection has seen ongoing research since ~1853

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pulse-code_modulation#History

      PCM is ancient, g711 is from the 70’s & primarily used in voip because it emulates what was being sent across the PSTN and also because the patent has expired.

      IP networks are built to emulate the PSTN because that is what the telco engineers knew and provides robust reliant resilient service.

      Lastly, LLU operators where building their networks to very different constraints to the GPO/BT. all they needed was essentially kit to get the subscribers line to that exchanges LLU providers backhaul thus saving paying BT/OR. FTTC was a pipe dream when LLU started, no one would do LLU now. Its far cheaper to lobby OR to provide fibre from subscriber to the cab/exchange and then backhaul that than install specific kit to directly connect each subscriber.

    13. MikeW says:

      @ChrisP

      The stories you link to are specifically about WBC – Wholesale Broadband Connect -and GEA. They are all about data services, and have nothing to do with voice.

      Since 2009 (with the GEA FTTC and FTTP pilots) it has been easy to see 21CN WBC announcements, even the 21CN core network. But not voice announcements.

      This 2009 story (showing voice progress had slowed) mentions that 21CN is more than voice, and included ADSL2+, FTTC, EFM and ethernet. 10% of voice lines were going to fail to migrate … so you can be absolutely sure that ISPs would have to have been on top of the migration.
      http://www.trefor.net/2009/11/27/project-pathfinder-21cn-voice-by-2020/

      Frankly, I’m not sure the next phase – the 275,000 “pathfinder volume” ever happened.

      Have you heard a dicky-bird since 2009? I haven’t. BT announcements were full of the progress made by pathfinder until 2009. Then zilch. It is inconceivable they went ahead but under the radar.

      This presentation notes specifically a “Switch-on” public information campaign, that would be unleashed to inform the public about migration. A bit like “phONE day”. Another silent dickie-bird.
      https://studylib.net/doc/9243469/21cn-voice-migrations-workshop

      The only conclusion is that BT carried on with the data component of 21CN, but not the voice component.

      The rest of the post brings grandmothers and eggs to mind. I was developing PCM-based equipment over 30 years ago. PDH was king.

      However, “IP networks are built to emulate the PSTN” is patently nonsense. Circuit-based? Tight timing requirements? Definitely not. Not from the “best efforts,” discarding packets willy-nilly, world of datacomms. The whole concept of ATM came about because telco engineers didn’t trust datacomm engineering.

      Certainly some of the DARPA requirements on IP included robustness … but IP doesn’t give you that alone. You need the alternate routing to achieve that … so you need a network plan that allows for it.

      A decade of engineering has brought datacomms engineering to the fore for telcos, with considerable leaps in QoS and queueing algorithms, but you can’t get past the need for diverse routing to get you robustness.

    14. Chris P says:

      @mikew
      Overlays on ip like tcp add robustness through error checking and retransmission. IP permits routing through alternate paths. Queuing trades latency for discarding during congestion along with windowing in tcp. No need to discard when you have sized enough bandwidth for the expected volume of traffic. QoS works best for mixed flows ensuring priority for traffic types, it’s not needed when dedicated correctly sized paths are used. Busy tones are used on voice networks when capacity is reached, they don’t just take bandwidth from other paying customers, other providers might do so though.
      There is no true alternative to alternate diverse physical routes which is a telco methodology that still rings true on data networks.

  4. Peter says:

    I’m on a GC line.
    The only disruptions through cable breakages have been in the backhaul – not locally.
    I was affected yesterday and by the core network faults over the recent weeks
    The backhaul in this area is provided by Cable and Wireless.

    The local spine cables laid direct in the ground are fully armoured ones.
    I would estimate the local cables are buried around 1 foot below the surface. This makes it above all gas,water,elec and BT lines and so they can dig trenches easily and quickly and it makes it cheap – or rather it makes it economically viable in the first place.

    I have indeed heard of poor re-instatement elsewhere though round here I did not hear about any major issues – bar the usual few in the village who want to complain about everything including why do we need faster broadband in the first place (sigh).
    The tarmac replacement seems better than the council’s pothole filling work!
    Some verges did not go back perfectly and then rather than let the grass re-establish a messy verge seems to give a green light for everyone else afterwards to park and drive over it: Jeez I really hate people.
    I think the install work took a few months though it was done in stages so difficult to exactly quantify.

    1. Peter says:

      just to add
      A few years ago some scroat ripped out the main BT cable E side.
      That was good for around 10 days of no voice or internet service…and of course no access to any emergency service unless you had a mobile

    2. Ignition says:

      The backhaul issue depends – did Gigaclear pay for resilient backhaul or single-homed?

      Regarding loss of e-side cabling, resilient access networks are extremely unlikely. Even now VM cable is single-homed up to the aggregation cabinet, BT copper and fibre are single homed up to the exchange.

      Access networks having no redundancy I get. Transport networks not so much.

    3. New_Londoner says:

      @Peter
      I wouldn’t criticise Gigaclear for outages due to vandalism, but problems caused due to poor network design are another matter. I’m not aware of other operators having multiple instances of planned maintenance for example.

      The installation in your local area sounds fine so maybe some of the issues may be down to different contractors or lack of oversight if the company is suffering from growing pains. Some examples feature on the Facebook page.

      As I said above, it does illustrate the point that “pure fibre” is not the panacea that some would have us believe.

    4. MikeW says:

      @New_londoner
      I disagree over the vandalism part. Vandalism, from the network perspective, is no different from a JCB operator accidentally digging through a cable. Proper network planning, with dual homing, should prevent a total outage from “simple” vandalism. At least, as @Ignition says, in the transport networks.

    5. alan says:

      “Proper network planning, with dual homing, should prevent a total outage from “simple” vandalism.”

      You mean like BTs which doesnt?

  5. Chris P says:

    5g with dual homed backhaul or even alternate aerial installations connected to different exchanges will eliminate problems like this caused by upstream network outages.

    1. MikeW says:

      It could, but what likelihood?

      Providers will be too busy trying to roll out a network single-homed, and too cost-conscious, to attempt double-homing. The cost of resilience will be for someone else (ie BT).

      FTTP GPON splitters can be dual-homed too, and I saw a proposal for BT – which essentially required them to run their fibre spines out to the PCPs, then jump over the gap to the next exchange area, and follow the PCPs back into the exchange there. An estimate of needing an extra 5% fibre.

      That would effectively add resilience to the E-side layer of the access network. What chance that got implemented, though?

    2. 125uS says:

      The problem being that such a network would be unaffordable to end users.

      I do buy fully resilient networks to serve my customers, mostly outside of the UK. A useful heuristic is that each component of a resilient network costs about two and a half to three times a standard one.

      It’s not just the extra cost of the kit and work, it’s that to have spare capacity to handle failure you’ll have network just sitting there idle, earning no revenue. Double whammy, as they say.

    3. Chris P says:

      @125uS
      Some like to run their networks active standby, others active active, it’s generally technical complexity that’s the decider, I.e hsrp/vrrp is dead easy, controlling traffic rates across different links ensuring full bandwidth in the event of a failure is so much more convoluted and has its own issues in failure states and also maintaining state full ness across routes can poss problems for upstream security systems.

  6. Peter says:

    Update from Gigaclear CEO
    NB this is just the TECHNICAL bit extracted from his email for you NOT the whole email which apologised for the spate of failures and promised to do better.

    Extract:
    The problem on Tuesday, was a loop-back within our core network caused by a misconfiguration in the systems of one of our partners. This meant that although our network was “up”, it passed no traffic for large ranges of our IP addresses, meaning that many customers (on these address ranges) could not access the Internet. This outage was for a total of between 4 hours 46 minutes and 5 hours 11 minutes. To fix the problem we had to identify it first in the partner’s network, which took us more time than we would have liked, but once the partner’s network was reconfigured, the Internet started working again and your service was restored.

    1. Fastboy says:

      GC customers (I am one) would be more assured in future if Mathew Hare (CEO) referenced addition of resilience via Multiple ISP’s or switch fallback capability beyond GC fiber network which was not at fault in recent weeks. I’d rather pay £1 more / month for this than spend £500 on kit plus sim costs to install 4G fallover capability.

    2. Ignition says:

      As far as this issue goes there wasn’t really much they could do about it without introducing IPSLA. The link was up, presumably all routes were still being advertised.

      Without knowing how the Gigaclear network is constructed it’d be difficult to comment too much more, beyond that it’s probably relatively simple.

    3. MikeW says:

      This suggests something is lacking in a change-control mechanism somewhere.

      Somebody, something, made the configuration change that broke things. For things to stay broken for 5 hours suggests insufficient planning and insufficient testing before committing the change. Followed by insufficient investigation techniques that failed to rapidly identify that change as a potential cause.

      That this happened in a partner is not good enough. Gigaclear need to buy services from people who take sufficient care over delivering them.

      “All necessary measures” is a tough gig to live up to.

    4. Chris P says:

      Something technical written by someone not technical.

      loop-back = loopback ip address as would be configured on a piece of network equipment that has a bunch of routed interfaces on it. its likely their provider had a connection with GC and was filtering or expecting to peer with a GC router but had the wrong Loopback IP configured.

      if they are suggesting a routing loop, you write routing loo, not loop-back.

  7. Shirley says:

    Mike Wilcox and the other BT trolls are all over this story! Like flies round a sh1t!

    1. Fastman says:

      there will be more scrutity especially as this could happen in future will be areas where public money has been invested (this does not look like a cable failute but something a little more fundamental)– that a fact of life going forward and nothing to with BT trolls or anyone else — this stuff is under microscope whoever you are and will be increasingly so

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Cheapest Ultrafast ISPs
  • Gigaclear £20.00 (*54.00)
    Speed: 400Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £23.50 (*26.50)
    Speed: 100Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £25.00 (*35.00)
    Speed: 150Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: ROKUGIFT
  • Community Fibre £27.50 (*32.50)
    Speed: 200Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: First 6 Months Free
  • Virgin Media £28.00 (*52.00)
    Speed: 108Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
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Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Vodafone £19.50 (*22.50)
    Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • NOW £20.00 (*32.00)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Hyperoptic £20.00 (*25.00)
    Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: ROKUGIFT
  • TalkTalk £21.00 (*29.95)
    Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Plusnet £21.95 (*38.20)
    Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £75 Reward Card
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The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. FTTP (3663)
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  3. Politics (1972)
  4. Building Digital UK (1942)
  5. FTTC (1897)
  6. Openreach (1862)
  7. Business (1717)
  8. Mobile Broadband (1500)
  9. Statistics (1427)
  10. FTTH (1367)
  11. 4G (1295)
  12. Virgin Media (1193)
  13. Fibre Optic (1184)
  14. Wireless Internet (1175)
  15. Ofcom Regulation (1165)
  16. Vodafone (859)
  17. EE (845)
  18. 5G (792)
  19. TalkTalk (779)
  20. Sky Broadband (756)
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