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Orange customers squeezed out of Facebook

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Orange customers are reporting that connections to Facebook are being rejected, apparently due to some technical incompatibility between the two.

We had our first reports around lunchtime, and raised the issue with Orange who have admitted that mobile customers aren't being as social as they should be, and that the problem is under investigation:

"We are aware that our mobile customers are currently having issues accessing facebook via their handsets", the operator told us, adding that Orange was working on the problem and "would like to apologise to our customers for the inconvenience this may cause them".

While it's possible the problem is related to the UK launch of Facebook Places (which took place this morning), there's no obvious technical reason why that would be the case.

Mobile networks run their internet access behind a huge network address translation (NAT) system, so all the users from one mobile network may appear as a single IP address (or a small selection of addresses) to the rest of the internet. This can cause all sorts of problems, which will only be fixed once we enter the wonderful world of IPv6.

Until then we have the various bodges necessary to keep the internet working, which get tripped every now and then. Orange says it's working with Facebook "as a matter of priority", though from what we've heard it's waiting for Facebook's US engineers to wake up and get into the office, so don't hold your breath for a fix. ®

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