BBC website suffers major outage in the UK

BBC website down

Entire BBC website suffers catastrophic crash starting at 1.40am onwards, crashing completely at 2am, and remaining offline for over an hour with the service still unusable at 03.15am.

It’s such an unusual occurrence for the entire BBC site to go down that it becomes news in itself, but as of now (02.25am, UK time), the site has been totally down for over 25 minutes.

The site seemed to wobble for a bit around 1.40am, went back online and then crashed completely around 2am.

BBC website down

Just to be sure that we weren’t suffering from a dodgy office router, we tried to connect via our 3G connection, and then posted on our sister site’s bulletin boards at urban75, to see if anyone else was having the same problems. Several folks scattered around the UK were indeed unable to access any of the BBC’s pages.

And just to be triple sure, we used the excellent downforeveryoneorjustme.com which confirmed that the BBC site is indeed down.

We checked several of the BBC’s Twitter pages, but they were either showing a blank page or weren’t updated, before Twitter declared itself over-capacity – a sure sign that something’s gone seriously awry.

Update: 3am – Further investigation revealed that the nameservers are unreachable and the site cant be pinged, so it looks to be a biggie here. Curiously, no mention was made of the outage on the 2.30am or 3am news broadcasts on BBC Radio 5.

Update: 3.05am: the site is showing some signs of returning to life but is currently so slow as to be unusable. After two minutes of trying to access the homepage we’re still looking at a blank screen. But at least it now says, “BBC – Homepage” in the title bar!

Update: 3.12am: The site may now be technically ‘up’ but we’re back to seeing ‘unable to connect’ error messages in our browser across the entire BBC site.

Update: 3.15am: We managed to access two pages which only half downloaded – and now we’re back to to ‘unable to connect’ messages again.

Update: 11.30am: Curiously there’s been no mention of any problems by the BBC – is it being hushed up?

Please Note: this story is from 2009: the latest outage (Tues March 29th 2011) is being reported here.

About mike s

Editor, wirefresh.com

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12 Comments on “BBC website suffers major outage in the UK”

  1. hi great to find you
    I was merily listening to BBC Radio 7 at 2pm here -went off for about an hour and haven’t been able to get it back since
    as we are 13 hours ahead of you – it is now 3am in Uk and 4pm here sound like the same problem

  2. Seems to be returning to life now (4:18pm New Zealand – 3:18am UK)…but slow….maybe too much traffic with people checking whether it’s up!

  3. Darn…very surprising….sooo missing my news and Radio shows tonight! Am Brit expat in California and have to get daily dose of UK. Still seems to be down. Hope it is back up soon!

  4. Got the main BBC News page up, and Firefox is still trying to download some content from cdnedge.bbc.co.uk ….
    Doing a ping of this reveals it to actually belong to Akamai;

    # ping cdnedge.bbc.co.uk
    PING a817.g.akamai.net (84.53.132.51) 56(84) bytes of data.
    64 bytes from 84.53.132.51: icmp_seq=1 ttl=57 time=9.00 ms
    64 bytes from 84.53.132.51: icmp_seq=2 ttl=57 time=10.1 ms

    So it could well be that it’s Akamai that has the problem, not the BBC.

  5. Got the main BBC News page up, and Firefox is still trying to download some content from cdnedge.bbc.co.uk ….
    Doing a ping of this reveals it to actually belong to Akamai;

    # ping cdnedge.bbc.co.uk
    PING a817.g.akamai.net (84.53.132.51) 56(84) bytes of data.
    64 bytes from 84.53.132.51: icmp_seq=1 ttl=57 time=9.00 ms

    So it could well be that it’s Akamai that has the problem, not the BBC.

  6. tom :
    The BBC has blown tax payers money on salaries, now they are cutting back on online services! lol

    It ain’t ‘taxpayers money’ it’s licence fee payers.

  7. Yikes! The staple of my day ain’t working. How disconcerting. Hope its up again soon – I am sorely unsettled at my desk without my companion web pages, news and radio.
    I’m very glad I am not in the BBC web tech department today. Must be bonkers there.
    Fiona

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