Three hit by network outage

Telco blames “technical difficulties” for outage that has taken down voice, text and data services

A major outage hit the Three communications network at about 11pm yesterday (16 October) when the telco suffered a loss of voice, text and data services across the UK because of what it described as “technical difficulties”.

By mid-morning today, services had still not resumed fully and the operator denied suggestions that it had been the victim of a denial-of-service or hacking attack, attributing the network problems to “technical issues”. Three has been advising customers to turn their phones off and on or turn airplane mode on and off, which it said “may” resolve the issue.

BBC News is reporting that the issue is nationwide and happened after maintenance to legacy network infrastructure, and that Three does not know at present how many of its 10.2 million customers have been affected.

For the last few hours, the company has been displaying a message on its website that it is “doing some essential maintenance on the site” and at midday on 17 October issued this statement: “Following technical difficulties with our services across voice, text and data, some customers will be experiencing an intermittent service. Our engineers are working to fix the issue and the service is returning to normal, and we expect it to be resolved over the course of the day. We are sorry for the inconvenience caused to our customers.”

The telco has also been using social media to tell users it is attempting to resolve the outage. Irate customers have been using the same channels, at #threedown, to reveal the persistence of the issue.

Despite these problems, the Three network has so far been one of the UK’s most reliable operators, and in August this year it became the third of the big four UK mobile network operators to switch on a 5G service, after EE and Vodafone.

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