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Customers of UK ISP Sky Broadband Suffer Intermittent Internet

Monday, November 18th, 2019 (9:34 am) - Score 7,689
sky broadband tech team

Customers of Sky Broadband (Comcast) are this morning reporting sporadic problems with intermittent connectivity, which doesn’t appear to affect everybody but may be preventing some customers from loading certain websites or connecting to certain online servers.

The problem appears to have started at around 6am and has been growing ever since (likely rising as people wake up to find their broadband connection isn’t working properly). In all cases the physical broadband line seems to be active and working, although the internet connectivity itself is patchy.

Initially we thought this might be a problem with Sky’s Domain Name Servers (DNS) but using a third-party service doesn’t appear to resolve it, although using a Virtual Private Network (VPN) does (i.e. possibly pointing to an issue with their wider routing/peering or related external network suppliers).

Sky has just this moment posted the following brief update, after initially denying that a problem existed. “We are aware of an issue affecting some of our customers broadband across parts of the UK, we’re sorry for this. We have the right people working hard to fix this next – Date reported: 18th November, 09:24,” said a Spokesperson.

Some of Sky Mobile’s data (mobile broadband) using customers have also spotted similar issues, although there aren’t yet enough reports from them to confirm that it’s related.

UPDATE 11:45am

We’re seeing some broadband connections return to normal now, although there hasn’t been much of a change in Sky’s own statement over the past few hours. On top of that we’ve also noted that some of BT’s customers seem to have been affected by a similar issue, albeit to a much smaller degree.

UPDATE 12:35pm

A spokesperson for Sky has confirmed, “Our broadband service is back up and running, and we’re sorry for the disruption caused to some of our customers this morning.” As usual the ISP has not explained what caused the outage.

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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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22 Responses
  1. Gary says:

    The reason a VPN works is because this bypasses Sky’s transparent DNS service they have in place. Currently affecting a few of our clients. Hopefully they will sort out their DNS servers soon.

    1. Herve Shango says:


  2. George George says:

    SKY broadband customer here:
    very slow at bringing pages up this morning:
    sometimes fails
    My Region : Wakefield

  3. Dee.jay says:

    Can confirm – some sites work, some don’t. This is not a DNS issue because the client machine can resolve all DNS – even to sites that fail to load. Likely upstream peering issue internal to Sky’s network.

    Fortunately I have two VDSL circuits so can carry on uninterrupted. Probably the first major Sky outage I can remember for many, many years so no complaints here I guess.

    1. Timeless says:

      l agree, first real problems l had, thought it was me strarted noticing it when l signed off a game l was playing this morning PS Plus was being annoying..

  4. Barry in Somerset. says:

    Noticed trying to browse the BBC news website this morning. Getting between 20% and 60% packet loss to several well known website addresses.

  5. Neil says:

    I suspect a bit more than meets the eye. I have a SKY Q hub which mysteriously rebooted small hours on Saturday and Sunday no Internet.

    I have just retired from this industry. My setup is a hardwired DMZ to wingate proxy server behind the Sky router and its been fine for years. Interestingly the Router has a hard programmed DNS pair and I have the Wingate DNS set to use the SAME Sky DNS pair as the hard programmed.

    Directly connected to my router from a laptop and all is fine. Go via wingate and its not despite being the same DNS pair. I changed Wingate and pointed it at the router for DNS and all works fine. Change it back and its broken again.

    Either the router is not forwarding DNS request packets from it receives from wingate to the network or the edge router is dropping them. Only DNS requests directly from the router seem to work so its either an ACL rule screw up or intentional to force use of SKY DNS Servers. Since the Wingate generated DNS packets are to the same servers you can draw your own conclusions.

    Google has a number of complaints from people with older sky routers being upgraded during September and their subtending devices which are programmed for none SKY DNS Servers suddenly stop working.

    This will also be why a VPN gets around the issue. Going to try DNS via HTTP net although that’s an easy one for sky to also intercept.

  6. i says:

    Sky customer, i had issues but i turn on my VPN and that seemed to remove all issues

    1. joe says:

      Why ever turn the vpn off I don’t

    2. dave says:


    3. Mike says:

      What efficiency?

    4. dave says:

      Routing via a VPN is obviously not as efficient as directly.

    5. Mike says:

      I’d call a 5-10% overhead a small price to pay in regards to privacy (and avoiding issues like today).

    6. dave says:

      Privacy from who? Certainly not your VPN provider!

    7. Mike says:

      Government and copyright trolls.

    8. dave says:

      The government isn’t interested in you, this is not China or North Korea.

      Copyright trolls is an interesting one as presumably the VPN provider also has your details, though might not have the same obligations as your ISP.

      An encrypted NNTP connection does me.

    9. joe says:

      Unless you have a free or useless VPN its non logging for all purposes.

    10. Mike says:


      “The government isn’t interested in you, this is not China or North Korea.”

      I beg to differ, it may not be that bad yet but it appears to be heading in that direction.

      “Copyright trolls is an interesting one as presumably the VPN provider also has your details, though might not have the same obligations as your ISP.”

      Numerous VPN providers have been tested by law enforcement in regards to their no-logging policies.

  7. Jizza4PM says:

    ahh broadband capitalism

    1. dee.jay says:

      And you think it would be better if it was run by the government? Good lord.

    2. joe says:

      @dee.jayOne one DNS to rule them all 🙂

      One routing table

      what could go wrong.

  8. Tony Dee says:

    Now tyhe 27th back from ahiolidayt and the dns resolving is bad for me here in Dengie Hundred in Essex. Cannot see how they say it is fixed. I have two ISP BT & SKY normaly SKY is far superior. But now it is BT that is faster etc.

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