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Major broadband outage affecting multiple providers
Friday 21 October 2011 10:46:55 by Sebastien Lahtinen

At around 08:45 this morning, many broadband service providers experienced an outage lasting anywhere up to an hour due to a reported problem in Stepney Green with interconnects to BT. Many affected providers including PlusNet which published details on its website. Indications are that services began restoring around twenty minutes later, although our broadband quality monitoring system indicated that many users were affected for longer periods in excess of an hour. Some users may need to reset their routers to re-establish a connection.

AAISP's monitoring system helpfully provides more details as to who was affected:

Lines dropped:

  • 20% ALL
  • 22% BT
  • 28% 20CN
  • 19% 21CN
  • 100% 20CN-BRAS-ERX11-READING3
  • 100% 20CN-BRAS-ERX7-READING2
AAISP Monitoring System


Posted by m0aur over 6 years ago
I have had outages and slowdowns for several days with Plusnet now, with less than 8Mb down from a 15+Mb sync. This morning was the worst.
Posted by ian_c over 6 years ago
With Zen - down for about 25 mins and still getting packet loss:

<a title="Broadband Ping" href="">My Broadband Ping</a>
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
Our office connection (Timico) went a bit squiffy around then but I assumed it was just having a crappy hour or two. It's a long rural line so we've come to expect that. It seemed to recover after a few minutes.

My home connection (Be) seems blissfully unaware of anything. Just trogging merrily along as normal :)
Posted by mixt over 6 years ago
The worst thing about a BT connection is the 172.16.* addresses that they assign when things go south like this (due to Radius failure between them and the ISP). Most routers will just blindly accept this as a valid address, meaning most people would have to manually re-connect to fix the issue. I'm running Linux, so this is one of the things I check for - and if I am not assigned the IP address I expect, the system keeps re-connecting at 1 minute intervals until it is the one it expects. 20 minute outage, 20 attempts to log back in. Stunningly brilliant outage BT!
Posted by farnz over 6 years ago

I believe BT have addressed this in current RAS configurations - if the RAS gives you the "RADIUS failed" session, and thus a 172.16 address, it will terminate the session after 10 minutes.

The goal is to stop the average home router reconnecting every 60 seconds, and increasing useless load on the wholesale network.
Posted by mixt over 6 years ago
Thanks farnz, I was not aware they had done that. :-)
Posted by ionic over 6 years ago
Given the scale of the outage, I wonder if 65000ish addresses were enough!
Posted by mrmadcat over 6 years ago
We're on zen Internet at work in manchester city centre and our connection dropped in the mr IMF for about 20mins and then from about 4pm onwards. It was still down when we left the office at nearly 6pm!
Posted by DougM over 6 years ago
ionic: that particular RFC1918 range is covering and providing over one million addresses.
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