BBC website outage – why the silence?

BBC website down

Last night we reported on a major outage that saw the entire BBC website – news, radio, features, sport – the whole caboodle – going down for several hours.

Some users reported a general ‘wobble’ across the internet around 1.45am, with the BBC site disappearing completely around 2am and staying offline till past 3.30am.

The service seems to have been patchy throughout the night, with readers reporting the site being slow at 7.45am, while others were still having trouble accessing the site around 9am this morning.

We were up half the night reporting the problems, and were surprised to see no mention of it in the morning.

We couldn’t find anything on their website, and they’re haven’t  mentioned it in any news bulletins we’ve heard so far. Why hasn’t the BBC actually admitted to this?

Is it news?

Some may say that a website going down is hardly news,  but when it’s one of the world’s biggest websites – and a publicly funded one at that – going down for several hours without explanation, we’d say it’s news, alright.

A lot of people rely on the BBC for their news, and any catastrophic outage that takes out the entire suite of BBC websites is absolutely newsworthy.

Was it hacked? Did it suffer a DOS attack? Poor management? A technician tripping over a cable marked ‘the internet’? What happened?

If a global site as huge and as well funded as the BBC can be targeted in this way, a lot of other sites should be very, very worried, and while we’re not one for conspiracies, the BBC’s total silence on this does seem rather strange.

We’re paying for it, so we have a right to know what happened. So what went on?

[BBC website outage – last night’s report]

(Edit: we changed the title from ‘BBC website outage – is it being hushed up?’ as on reflection that sounded like we might be some sort of tin-foil-donning conspiracy nuts).

Update 12.20pm: According to the Register, the BBC has now issued a suitably vague explanation:

Some people have been experiencing problems accessing BBC web based services in the past few hours. This was due to network problems, resulting in access to these services being slow and at some points inaccessible. Services are now back to normal and engineers are monitoring the situation.

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