Is everything OK over there, Britain? Have you tried turning the UK off and on again? ISPs, financial orgs fall over in Freaky Friday of outages
BT, Gamma, Nationwide, Tide, anyone else?
Today was more Friday the 13th than Friday the 31st in the UK, it seems. Not only is it Brexit Day, marking Blighty's withdrawal from Europe, but a bunch of services and internet connectivity broke.
Here's a quick summary of what went wrong, according to Register readers writing in. If we've missed anything out, please let us know, and we'll update this article.
British Telecom: Mega-telco BT suffered what looked like a major outage in the afternoon, knocking out telephone lines and internet broadband for several hours, judging from outage monitoring websites. Some business customers were warned they may have to wait until February 5 for a full fix.
One reader told us he clocked off early after losing his secure connection from home to the office: "Looks like BT have significant problems. I lost my VPN connection to work. Ah well, early weekend!"
Nationwide: This British building society – the largest of its kind in the world – left its millions of customers unable to pay rent and bills today amid an all-day IT breakdown. Payments and transfers to and from accounts were held up in a queue, delaying money movements, and the backlog still isn't cleared.
Readers told us earlier that, after logging into their online accounts, they were greeted with the alert: "All incoming and outgoing payments are in a queue and will be sent ASAP. We know this is frustrating and are working to get things back to normal."
In a note on its website this evening, the financial org added: "You can make payments to and from your account but please be aware there are delays with these being processed. Our teams are still working through this and we'll keep you updated as we know more."
One Reg tipster told us: "It's pay day and I can't transfer money or pay bills. No word on when it will be fixed."
Gamma: This business broadband and voice-comms provider went TITSUP – that's Total Inability To Send User Packets – across the country at 1500 UTC after suffering a double fiber-cable cut. It is still fixing the broken lines. Specifically, there was a "dual fibre break on the East coast and the London area of our national network," the telco told punters.
"Fibre engineers are now on site and beginning work on the restoration," the ISP said. "Our network team have been continuing the work on the network re-routing of voice and connectivity services and we expect to restore those services by 10pm tonight. We’re confident the re-routing work will fully restore services, however services remain at risk until the fibre restoration work is completed. We will provide a further update by 11pm."
Earlier, it acknowledged: "We are currently experiencing a Gamma national network fibre break which is impacting voice and data connectivity services. Customers will be experiencing voice connectivity and call quality issues due to the congestion as a result of the fibre break."
A Register tipster told us: "We have had no SIP nor VoIP service for 500 users since 3pm on the dot."
Tide: Online biz-friendly bank Tide.co went down today, preventing people from logging in. The org claimed it was overwhelmed by punters checking in at the end of the month.
"Our team investigated the potential causes and discovered a 30 per cent increase in customer traffic to the Tide app," CTO Guy Duncan reckoned. "We understand this was likely due to the end of the month demands such as payroll runs and the deadline for submitting tax returns." ®