North American Network Operators Group

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RE: BT network outage

  • From: Fearghas McKay
  • Date: Wed Nov 21 11:51:26 2001

ADSL restored to UK
By Tim Richardson
Posted: 20/11/2001 at 17:09 GMT
A major network incident that wiped out much of the UK's ADSL and unmetered dial-up Internet services earlier today has been fixed.
Things should be improving throughout the afternoon and into the evening, although pockets of users could still experience difficulties getting online.
BT says that its Colossus IP network crashed at around 10.00am this morning cutting off tens of thousands of ADSL customers, although some Register readers say they experienced problems as early as 9.00am.
An unknown number of users of unmetered dial-up services was also affected as Surftime and FRIACO-based services were reportedly hit.
The true scale of the problem - described as a "major network failure" by BT engineers - will probably never be known.
BT says the problem was fixed within around two-and-a-half hours, although it takes longer to right itself through the system, following an outage of this scale. The telco has apologised for the outage and is currently investigating what went wrong.
Earlier today a BT spokeswoman said that the telco had "lost part of its Colossus IP backbone" network.
Thankfully, it appears they've now found it again.
The Register has received reports from people from all over the country saying how they're regaining access to the Net.
Many though are unhappy at the lack of information about the outage - they say they were left in the dark.
BT was inundated with calls jamming helpdesk phone lines and forcing some irate customers to phone BT's London HQ in search of answers.

UK hit by major ADSL outage
By Tim Richardson
Posted: 20/11/2001 at 12:01 GMT
Britain's broadband ADSL service was plunged into darkness this morning following a catastrophic failure of BT's network.
Details are still sketchy but it's understood that nearly all ADSL connections across the country are down - including those provided by service providers other than BT - along with some unmetered dial-up services.
The Register has received reports from readers that some services have been unaffected by the incident.
Unconfirmed reports claim that BT's Web site,, was also floored by the outage, although this is now up and running again.
According to a BT spokeswoman, the company has "lost part of its Colossus IP backbone" network.
Early reports suggest the network crashed sometime before 10.00am (GMT). BT engineers are busy trying to fix the problem as quickly as possible, we're told.

At 5:40 pm +0100 21/11/01, Youse, Chuck wrote:
Do you have a url or something that we can reference for this incident?

-----Original Message-----
From: Sean Donelan [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Wednesday, November 21, 2001 4:39 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: BT network outage

The joy of single provider service.  British Telecom lost most
of its national IP backbone on Tuesday affecting DSL and Dialup
service across multiple ISPs in the UK.  According to news
reports, this affected almost all DSL service in the UK.

What happened to BT?  Is this a unique "feature" of the UK marketplace
or can the same thing happen in the USA?