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BT broadband users hit by UK-wide outage

Telecommunications giant incurs the wrath of BT broadband users after thousands struggle to get online, following power outage at third-party datacentre provider

BT has blamed power issues at a third-party datacentre for loss of broadband connectivity at multiple sites across the UK on 20 July 2016.

The company used the BT Care Twitter account to apologise for the problems, before laying the blame at the door of an unnamed third-party provider.

“Sorry for problems accessing some internet services today,” the tweet stated. “This was caused by power issues at a partner’s site. We’re restoring services now.”

According to a BBC report, the root cause of the issue was a 20-minute power cut at an Equinix-owned Telecity datacentre in Docklands.

In a statement to Computer Weekly, Russell Poole, UK managing director of Equinix - who acquired Telecity for £2.35bn in 2015 - confirmed a power outage at its LD8 site in Docklands was to blame. 

“Equinix can confirm that we experienced a brief outage at the former Telecity LD8 site in London earlier this morning," he said.

"This impacted a limited number of customers, however service was restored within minutes. Equinix engineers are on site and actively working with customers to minimise the impact.”

The outage is understood to have blighted customers in the south of England, as well as the Midlands, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, as well as subscribers to BT-owned ISP Plusnet.

Despite the wide geographic spread of affected users, BT said in a post on its service status page that only a “small number” of users were affected by the issue.

“We hope to have the service restored as quickly as possible and apologise for any inconvenience this may be causing,” the company said on its status page, where details of the problem first posted at 9.30am on 20 July.

According to the DownDetector site, users first started reporting difficulties using BT’s services around 8am, with a peak in instance reports occurring around 9am this morning with more than 5,000 incidents logged.

During the course of the outage, BT repeatedly moved to assure disgruntled customers that it was doing all it could to restore internet access, with many using social media to express their dissatisfaction.

The outage comes hot on the heels of a damning report by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee that accused BT of under-investing in its infrastructure division, Openreach, before calling out the organisation’s chequered track record on service delivery.

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All networks will have outages. Water, Electric and Telecoms. What matters is that they are repaired quickly, and customers informed. and lessons learnt.
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