back to article Beeb news website goes titsup

The BBC news website was down for over an hour at lunchtime today due to an apparent technical glitch with its servers. A spokeswoman for the British broadcasting behemoth told El Reg that the Beeb had been "experiencing technical difficulties", and it hoped to bring the service back online as soon as possible. Anyone …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Here is the news.....errrr

    and using Solaris too !!!!

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Still Down

    Well it still down at 15:00hrs BST

  3. James McGregor

    Someone had to say it!

    No news is good news?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Still Down

    Still not working at 15:02, and neither is my universities online learning environment, so I might just have a cup of tea, far better than actually doing work!

  5. Terry Ellis
    Paris Hilton


    The BBC news website goes down during working hours = utilisation at work goes up

  6. David Harper

    Still 404-compliant at 15:02

    My browser is reporting that "the redirection limit for the URL has been exceeded".

    On the bright side, El Reg is still working :-)

  7. Emj
    IT Angle

    God Noooooooo.....

    So much for one of the benchmark sites.... ! I suppose it happens to everyone at some point.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    Looks like the bbc news website is going through Akamai content distribution. Did it ever do that before? All the history I can find (through netcraft for example) puts it on the BBC's own network.

    Might explain why it's taken a turn for the worse?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    International version is fine

    Been dipping in and out of the BBC news site all day - it's only now I've had problems - but only the UK version.

  10. AndyB
    Dead Vulture

    Still got its tits in the air

    Still kaput at 15:15BST

    Actually, it seems its just the front page that's knackered....

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too quick off the mark

    "and using Solaris too !!!!"

    .. and no indication of course that the Solaris servers are the problem, could be app software, finger trouble etc.

  12. Adrian Jackson
    Thumb Up



  13. Sarev

    Anaemic news

    I like it. The BBC have good breadth in their coverage but a chronic lack of depth.

    @Emj: agreed, it's a great site for testing browsers on embedded devices.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Working on old IP address

    BBC news site seems to be up and running at an old IP address:

  15. OneArmJack

    Don't panic, there's no need to do any work

    You can still go to the news sections via the BBC homepage and navigate around from there, it's just the News Front Page that's not working.

  16. JP
    Dead Vulture


    The BBC News front page isn't loading, but navigating through the Top 5 emailed or most read is still working...

    Does that mean they're going to stay there all day?

  17. The Other Steve
    Paris Hilton

    Didn't even notice

    Since the quality of the 'news' on the site has dropped so low, and the commentators in the 'have your say' sections appear to be refugees from the Daily Mail forums, I stopped actually reading the beeb site ages ago, even though my browser opens it automatically on start up.

    So tits to them, really.

  18. Adam
    IT Angle

    only the front page

    its only the front page thats gone:


  19. Colin Jackson
    Thumb Down


    And the purpose of the scurrilous muck-raking? How does a technical failure on their website have any relation whatsoever to other more controversial events? Has Kelly Fiveash morphed into Nelson Muntz? Can't I legitimately get away with shoe-horning the word 'schadenfreude' into this comment?

  20. el cap
    Thumb Down

    Erm, houston... what problem?

    Sorry el reg, I had no issues viewing the news whilst munching my extra hot burrito at lunchtime, I also have no issues currently.

  21. Daniel Bennett

    Works PERFECTLY FINE for the past hour!


    Works fine!

    Every now and then it has a female moment but other than that its fine.

  22. el cap
    Thumb Down

    Erm, Houston... what problem?

    Sorry El Reg, I had no issues viewing El Beeb whilst munching on my lunchtime Burrito and Guac, nor do I currently have any.

  23. Daniel Bennett


    Fixed now.

  24. wobbly1
    Dead Vulture

    shoot the puppies?

    Yesterday the BBC announced an unbelievable 2.5- 3.5 Billion squids shortfall. then they where threatening to shoot the puppies that are the one o'clock news and (GASP!) Top Gear. Today their most popular platform, the news website. Not very sophisticated tactics for the salaries they're getting. How about their dropping the crap lifestyle programmes to make up their shortfall?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re-design cock-up?

    Could it be anything to do with the new (and somewhat ugly) tabs that have appeared at the top of the page???

    Shurely even the Beeb can't mess up the addition of some graphics to a header....

  26. Martin Owens
    Thumb Up

    The Gods

    The computer gods are punishing them for their wicked iplayer software.

    Someone quick get a copy of Red Hat and bless them!

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    A few (best part of seven or eight) I had a tour of the old BBC R&D centre at Kingswood Warren. As part of this they showed us teh server rooms whithing which resided all BBC News/Sport etc websitey stuff... The nice man told us that there was a mirror site hosted in London (I forget where), so in the event of any misshap or errors, they could immediatly switch to the mirror and roll-back to before any coding problems (or bybass any hardware ones)... not sure if that is still the case...

    And yes, sod the news, it's a poor shadow of its former self and to quote someone else on El Reg this week, 'Kaplinskiated' but I was trying to access the sports and that was very slow...

  28. bigfoot780

    And I thought it was just my PC

    Looks like RSS feed is having issues as well. Oh well.

  29. John Bayly
    Paris Hilton

    Infinite 302

    When you go to, it returns a 302 -> ... (Where else would it try to send you)

    Sounds like somebody's been mucking around with httpd.conf, oops

    Worst problem is that I'll have to rely on El-Reg to get my Paris updates.

  30. Dan
    Gates Horns

    Hmm underpaid techies

    The last time I went along to the Beeb for a techie interview, (and royally turned them down I might add,) they were paying an absolute pittance. They wanted Solaris Guru's who were also Network Guru's, who were ALSO Windows Guru's. Ok fair enough you might say.......but you'll have to pay for that.

    Sadly they weren't. They were offering less than what you'd expect for a Unix Sys Admin.....and not even a Guru level of pay.

    They want too much for too little, so its no wonder they are having problems. They just can't afford to employ the best :)

  31. James
    Paris Hilton


    Is that code for "not sucking Murdoch's cock"?

  32. Alan Cameron
    Thumb Down

    RSS Feeds down as well

    RSS Feeds down as well

  33. Graham Dawson Silver badge

    @can't employ the best...

    They could probably afford it if they got rid of Jonathan Woss. Sorry, Ross. Get rid of Humphries and a couple of the other doddering old fools and they'll be able to pay twice the going rate!

    The BBC makes something close to 4 billion a year from the telly tax, and another couple of billion from international sales of its back-catalogue yet, like any publicly funded organisation it always seems to be short of money. The problem, as always, is to be found lurking in the layer upon layer of administrators, managers, line-managers, overseers, executives, assistants, assistants assistants, house managers, floor managers, health and safety managers, lawyers and other middle-management cruft that always gathers in public institutions. The answer is simple. Fire the lot. Get rid of the failing digital channels, get rid of the unnecessary management layers and give Ross and his compatriots a well-deserved pay cut.

    T'isn't happening though. Instead we've got the BBC chasing ratings. Ratings! It's a public service broadcaster, not a popularity contest! They're cutting the news and docuemntaries budget in order to expand their digital channels and re-organise as some sort of international comglomerate. How is that even justifiable given their charter obligations?

  34. Matthew

    It's not the Beeb

    BBC sold off BBC Technology to Siemens as Siemens Broadcasting Services under an outsourcing deal a couple of years ago.

    I was briefly a contractor there and can tell you the BBC has some good staff and some real wasters. Server support contactors handled 25 calls per day each on average, permies did 4. I was introduced to the concept of 'Walkers'. Staff it would be difficult to get rid of, so they aren't assigned any work and the walk around chatting to their mates and visiting one of several bars at Television Centre.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    unsackables (straying WILDLY off topic)

    think it's bad at the Beeb? The shockingly unsackable are civil servants, then they threaten to strike at the merest hint of a drop in value of their gold-plated, guaranteed index-linked, non-contributory pensions, payable from age 60...

  36. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    403? Yeeeeerrrrssssss.....

    It was down last night @23.00ish, it's still down, now.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ...has magically reappeared after redirecting itself. Still, two 403s 22 hours apart can't be good. (Yes, yes, my cache was clear!)

  38. marc

    Only some of it was down

    My RSS Feed linked me to some science/tech and entertainment stories. It seemed only the serious stuff was unavailable. Maybe they are on different servers?

    Still, at least we had El Reg :) The IT Industry's answer to The Sun

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    El Reg

    So where did El Reg get it's stories from today? Yeah, I'm gonna be banned, aren't I?

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The good people at Netcraft have more on this outage, and a little bit more on the Akamai connection.

    I haven't checked lately, but it used to be the case that the IP address you got when you looked up (or was it depended on which ISP you were with, thus enabling some form of simple geographic load balancing (ie if your ISP is in the US, you get a "BBC" address which is the BBC's server farm in NYC, so your data doesn't have to be shipped all the way from BBC UK). Or something like this.

    Not sure what happens to this scheme if you're using OpenDNS.

    (Apologies if this appears multiple times, El Reg itself was briefly inaccessible when I submitted this. Honest.)

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Dead Vulture


    On unsackable people. I used to work for BT. They operated a system that can only be described as a craptocracy (or shitocracy). It was almost impossible to get rid of crap staff, so their line managers put them up for promotion to get rid of them. So the shit rose to the top while the good workers stayed where they were.

    I notice the BBC haven't mentioned the outage on their own site, though they are quick to report outages on other major sites.

  42. SmokeyMcPotHead

    All they needed... do was reboot...! As for Solaris what a load of rubbish...get yourself Windows 1.0 running IIS 0.01

  43. Matt Ruggles
    Gates Horns

    Oh dear

    Does that mean we can't read any more propaganda about cannabis and the latest rantings from sir-ian-should-be-fired-blair ?

    What a shame eh.

  44. anthony bingham

    It may not be much but its British by thunder!

    The BBC is that glorious geriatric Institution that still runs on a combination of intuition and what the words sound like ... remember the "little Lions" on the eggs, well that is still news if you run out of Yokes!

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