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Sky Broadband UK ISP Users Struggling to Access Ionos Sites UPDATE7

Friday, August 20th, 2021 (7:03 am) - Score 12,696
sky broadband tech team

Customers of UK ISP Sky Broadband (Comcast) are this morning struggling to access any websites hosted by large internet hosting firm Ionos, which also happens to include ISPreview.co.uk’s dedicated server and masses of other websites (e.g. ISPA UK). A routing / peering or DNS issue seems likely to be the cause.

The problems appear to have started at around 2am – 3am this morning, although we’re currently still trying to find out whether the fault stems from the Ionos side or Sky Broadband’s end. We have however noted that simply changing to a third-party Domain Name System (DNS) server (e.g. 8.8.8.8 on Google Public DNS or 1.1.1.1 on Cloudflare) via a Sky connection doesn’t resolve it.

At present, the only workaround for this is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN), which circumvents the issue. Likewise, the problem does not, so far as we can tell, appear to be impacting other broadband ISPs or mobile network operators (it’s still early in the morning, thus most people haven’t woken up yet and feedback is limited).

We initially suspected that the fault may actually rest with Ionos’s own UK DNS servers, but some of Sky’s other customers have since reported that they’re also unable to connect to VPN services for their office and those are not associated with Ionos. A wider fault may be the cause. We have contacted both Sky and Ionos for comment. Updates will be added below as they come in.

UPDATE 8:39am

No response from Sky or Ionos yet, but it’s possible they might not be able to reach our server due to the same bug (unless they also use a VPN to send email etc.). In the meantime, we’re receiving reports that Sky Broadband’s customers are also having trouble accessing certain banking apps, although the banking websites themselves appear fine.

The service status pages for Sky and Ionos continue to report no problems, despite the sporadic but widespread issues.

UPDATE 9:03am

Reports are starting to come in thick and fast as people wake up, all reporting the same issues with access to work VPNs, banking apps and masses of websites hosted or managed by Ionos.

UPDATE 9:19am

Ionos has pointed the finger of blame at Sky Broadband.

Ionos Service Status (Aug 20, 09:01 BST)

Some customers cannot access Ionos websites

Identified – We have received reports that customers from Sky network are unable to access Ionos websites. Further investigation has identified that the issue is with the Internet Service Provider and as such beyond our control.

We recommend that any customers who are unable to access Ionos hosted websites contact their ISP.

UPDATE 9:26am

Unofficial feedback suggests that Sky have a “major DNS issue” on their infrastructure, although their customer support teams still incorrectly think this is only limited to those trying to connect to certain work VPN servers (as above, it’s much more widespread). Estimated fix time is c.10:30am. We continue to await an official response from Sky itself.

UPDATE 9:29am

Sky has just issued a brief statement via Twitter.

Sky’s Statement:

“Sky Broadband customers may be experiencing issues when trying to access some websites this morning. We’re investigating this as a priority and we’re sorry for any inconvenience.”

UPDATE 10:26am

Much as we predicted (fix ETA) earlier, Sky appears to have now resolved the problem. We’ve done some limited testing and ISPreview.co.uk, as well as other Ionos websites, are now working again. We’re currently watching customer feedback to see how work VPN and banking apps fair.

UPDATE 11:00am

Sky’s latest statement.

A Sky spokesperson said:

“We have resolved the issue with Sky Broadband. Customers should be able to access websites and apps as normal. We’re sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.”

Leave a Comment
42 Responses
  1. Frustrated says:

    I work at Oxford University.

    I cannot access my email due to this bug at Sky.

    It seems that a large part of the websites at .ox.ac.uk are currently unreachable.

    Very frustrating.

    1. Ben says:

      Can you give an example website? Is http://www.ox.ac.uk accessible, for example?

    2. Frustrated says:

      as of 10.27am they seem to have fixed it.

      But for what it’s worth, http://www.maths.ox.ac.uk as well as http://www.physics.ox.ac.uk were not accessible until just then.

    3. Security says:

      Wouldnt put any login credentials into http://www.maths.ox.ac.uk as not encrypted with Https and being passed over public internet in clear text!

    4. Frustrated says:

      Right you are …

    5. James says:

      Those two links are just missing the redirect to https.

  2. RR says:

    Their status page points finger at Sky, so beyond their control

  3. Random says:

    Problem is not just linked to Ionos.

    I use Digital Ocean and Google domains and they are down.

  4. Darren Reid says:

    Yes a DNS bug. Can’t wait for encrypted DNS as much as providers will complain.

    Also can load a page like this once through mobile then switch back to sky. Phone seems to cache the IP.

    1. Jack says:

      Unfortunately due to Sky using transparent DNS proxies, encrypted DNS doesn’t bypass Sky. Only way things work is if you use a VPN.

      Lots of people moan about Sky hijacking DNS but unless you VPN or leave your stuck with it.

  5. Gavin says:

    I woke up to a similar issue reaching my own servers. DNS queries made to Namecheap’s DNS servers return a blank result on the Sky wifi, however if I tether to my phone on a different network everything works fine. That would suggest a routing problem for DNS traffic across Sky’s network.

    Hopefully they fix it soon – DNS is pretty fundamental and I don’t want to stay tethered to my phone all day.

  6. Carl O says:

    It doesn’t work for your website either Mark, or pulse secure for my work.

    Hopefully they fix it soon.

    Hotspot for the win.

    Sky FTTP 145/25 here.

    1. Ben says:

      ispreview is hosted on 1&1 / IONOS 🙂

  7. Daniel says:

    Unfortunately Sky have made it practically impossible to contact them.

    1. timeless says:

      actually twitter is a good place if you need help, support isnt always instant but they still got back to me considering the issues.

  8. HB says:

    Thank you for this article. we have 2 home workers who cannot work and both have SKY.whereas other home workers are fine.

    pointing to DNS have helped me find work arounds.

  9. Daniel Lamb says:

    We have found this issue for a number of A records used for customers using remote acces, currently we have added records manually in c:\windows\system32\drivers\etc\hosts which works for now, also changing dns to google dns 8.8.8.8 and 8.8.4.4 should work either doing it locally on the machine or changing your routers dns.

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      In this case, you’ll find that may work for some sites/servers, but not others. At least that seems to be the feedback from others.

    2. Daniel Lamb says:

      Fair, if the site is hosted with ionos, guess the issue was routing to ionos altogether so wouldn’t have resolved ionos dns, or connected to hosting, for me it was vpns and rds so manually changing details got them working again.

  10. Ben says:

    This appears to be more than just a DNS issue — traceroutes from Sky to a monitoring probe on the 1&1 IONOS network are failing, even when using IP literals: https://atlas.ripe.net/measurements/31969156 .

    1. Ryan says:

      It’s more than a DNS based issue, am currently visiting my parents down south for a few days they got Sky broadband ping and traceroute to Ionos doesn’t leave sky network so it’s probably some routing or peering/transit issue.

  11. James™ says:

    Sky’s website just says it’s online banking services that are experiencing technical issues.

    1. timeless says:

      to be fair thats all l noticed it affecting (Santander/Natwest) so l guess l never got round to visiting other servers that were affected.. strangely though mobile banking via android apps worked (at least for Natwest) it was just affecting browser based access.

  12. Ray Woodward says:

    All the user service check web page is saying is that they have problems with accessing banking web sites and that the are “looking into it”.

  13. mc says:

    Back working for me now.

  14. Ray Woodward says:

    Screwed up numerous things here, which were only cleared when I realised I semm no longer to have access to Open DNS and had to change back to the Sky default option …

  15. Ray Woodward says:

    … and suddenly I appear to be able to reach Open DNS again …

  16. Carl O says:

    Back online for anyone concerned!

    1. Carl O says:

      Pulse secure vpn and other banking apps back online.

  17. Ray Woodward says:

    Yep, everything appears to be back to normal here. But they really screwed the pup this morning …

  18. biscuitbrew says:

    This was one of the things that annoyed me when I was a Sky BB customer, the status updates always minimalise the issue. There were times pretty much all Sky BB customers in NI were offline, and we were being continually told it’s “just” Belfast and Derry/Londonderry impacted… Tell that to the multitude of towns and villages in between who can’t get online!

    Glad to see it’s now resolved for those involved this time.

  19. RaptorX says:

    But if people just used a decent ISP, then these problems would happen much less frequently. Sigh.

    1. timeless says:

      apparently according to Santander a number of providers were having issues accessing its services, but l dont know much more outside of that statement to a question l asked on twitter.

  20. Christopher Smith says:

    All back working here too. To be fair, disruptions have been very few and far between in our 14 years on the Sky network.

    1. timeless says:

      indeed, as with any service they have their issues, after all one cant control everything… and faults do happen.

      ld say twice a year lve had issues which maybe annoying at the time but compared to most other providers lve been with Sky has had better up time and speed.

  21. Gerry says:

    It also affected the mail.com email service. Seems to have affected Malwarebytes updating for several weeks. Soft or hard resets of the Sky router solved it but only temporarily. Wasted vast amounts of time thinking it was my firewall, kept swapping between Windows Defender and Comodo.

    Sky has become extraordinarily expensive for a slow basic service, even surcharging because I don’t have line rental or TV with them, so this is the last straw and I’ll be leaving shortly.

    1. Carl O says:

      Personally, why leave malware bytes running constantly anyway, as long as you have windows defender on and you aren’t visiting dodgy sites all the time it should be perfectly fine without.

    2. Mike says:

      If you have Windows 10 fully up to date and all the security settings enabled it’s been shown in tests to practically offer the same level of protection as any other AV software, especially if you use a decent mail provider that scans attachments and you don’t visit/download dodgy stuff.

    3. timeless says:

      expensive? lm guessing you dont call once your contract is up to check promotions, managed to get my bill down to £25 for their superfast (up to 80meg)dont think lve ever paid over £30 (even when the price was in the 40s as l swapped over when my package was called Max)

  22. Gerry says:

    @Carl O
    Malwarebytes Premium comes free with NatWest, so I thought I might as well use it ! No idea whether it’s better than Windows Defender. I let Windows Defender do occasional scans in the hope of getting the best of both worlds.

  23. Not applicable says:

    I binned my sky router 3 weeks after getting sky broadband, ubiquiti edgemax router x SFP, works a treat and doesn’t punish you for not using the VoIP. The sky router was constantly looking for a VoIP connection even though I never use it nor did I ever really want it and tried disabling it in the GUI but it still persistently keeps searching for a connection. Uptime of over 39 days now with not one single drop with 2x cameras recording constantly 24 hours a day still get 147mbps over Wi-Fi so I can’t grumble plus the ubiquiti router gives you the option to use the fastest DNS server possible, I honestly didn’t see any of the issues above but meh

  24. Mr Paul Reid says:

    I am still having problems

    has it been fixed ?

    Paul

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