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When BT Internet goes down - use Twitter !!


The confirmation that there was a problem with BT's broadband service today appeared on Twitter with messages like this:

" Power cut at Birmingham exchange pulls plug on BT Broadband across UK "

and ended with: 

" BT Broadband goes live just as someone there answers the bloody 'phone after 2 hours. I can put the radio back on now."

Which all goes to prove that there is the " Internet " and the " Mobile Internet ". 

As this report from the BBC describes


"Best thing was the BT helpline advising customers to logon to BT.com if they can't get through on the phone - not easy logging in without internet!"

Greg Gillies, director of IT support company Pond Group, added: "We were unable, along with the rest of the country, to get hold of BT for confirmation and had to rely on Twitter for unconfirmed updates."

In response, BT has said they have received a "large number of calls" and was doing its best to answer queries using social media and other methods.

"We have been doing our very best to keep customers informed," the spokesperson added.

"BT apologises for any inconvenience caused."

None of this sounds good enough really - does it ??

Firstly, why did the outage of one exchange in Birmingham cause such wide disruption? ( I have 3 B.T. broadband connections into my location and of the two that I use regularly one was down and the other up ? I actually thought it was the wind that had disrupted one of them.)

The network is obviously not as resilient and fault tolerant as we are led to believe.

Secondly, why can't B.T.'s Help Centre cope with the phone calls that arose ? ( No surprise to me because they can't cope with " normal " call rates.)

Thirdly, when are B.T. going to realise that there is such a thing as social media? 

One of the most frustrating things for I.T. support companies like Pond Group is that they don't have a " hotline " into B.T. either. They might have slightly different " portals " into B.T. but they are basically the same - a website and a phone number.

Just checking through Twitter,  @BTCare Enniskillen, UK ( BT Care's Twitter page ) seem to have been aware of the problem around 1p.m. and it seems to have been resolved by about 2p.m. ( could have been much less time to be fair ). I have used @BTCare Enniskillen, UK before and to be fair they have always tried their best to sort things out.

Again, according to Twitter, the problem appears to have been a power outage in the B.T.
" supernode " exchange. 

The solutions appear to be:


- Improved fault tolerance and resilience required ( especially in the B.T. " Supernode " exchanges )

- The ability to cope with increased call capacity

- Greater utilisation of social networks to help people

















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