back to article Hull falls off the internet

KCom, previously known as Kingston Communications, lost all internet access on Saturday afternoon at 3pm and was not able to restore it until 10pm that evening. KCom, which has an effective monopoly in Hull, said it had engineers working on the problem and to ensure it does not happen again. The last time this happened the …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Upto Half a Million people affected

    "...We are working to understand the exact root cause of the issue..."

    And these people have a telco operator's licence - scary

    Hull aspires to be a top ten Digital City - no chance whilst Kcon's complacent monopoly is allowed to continue.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    We are working to understand the exact root cause of the issue ....

    How did they manage to resolve the problem, if they don't know what the cause was?

    Last one out, close the server room door!

  3. Anonymous Coward

    What a joke!

    Boo to them!

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Here we go again

    I'm not surprised by this. KC don't appear to have a clue when things go wrong.

    From what I understand they have been undertaking ADSL2 preparations in the last couple of weeks and there was some major work planned this weekend. Looks like this went wrong and took the whole network out.

    As the article says it wasn't just ADSL users, but their data centre in Hull, plus all business internet access of fibre.

    They never seem to have a regression plan or the staff on site when doing work like this and I'm more than a little amazed that a major telecoms provider has to rely on external companies to fix their network issues.

    Perhaps if they stopped spending so much money on advertising their services locally and telling us how they welcome competition and care about their customers they could invest this in more resilient kit, on site spares and more technical staff.

    Beats me why you have to advertise that you welcome competition etc when you are a local monopoly. Regardless of what they say they are a monopoly and price their wholesale services so its not worth anyone entering the market. They are well known locally for upping charges and changing terms and conditions at very short notice when someone does set up in competition. The regulator is useless and always finds in their favour without proper investigation.

    Hull could have been/could be a major internet point like London and Manchester but KC's negative attitude makes it a very expensive place to operate internet services.

    No explanation of what went wrong and no apology, all their support site says is that some ADSL services were affected.

    Very poor show KC - Hull a laughing stock again.

  5. Roger Shepherd

    Be Unlimited had a major problem on Saturday as well

    Massive problem on Be on Saturday night. http access seemed to be dead for a lot of the internet including inconsequential sites such as google. They fixed it in a few hours.

  6. Martin

    @Roger; Be Unlimited

    I thought it was just me!

  7. Rande Knight


    "How did they manage to resolve the problem, if they don't know what the cause was?"

    Same way you do - turn it off and on again :) Just being a large setup, it takes a while to reboot.

  8. JP Sistenich

    Engineers worked throughout Saturday night and Sunday 10 August to ensure service was stable.

    Translation: We had to work the weekend! Sympathy please!

    Well, if you didn't fsck it up in the first place, you wouldn't have had to!


  9. Mister_C
    Thumb Down

    Kingston (non)Communication

    Their "Network status" phoneline was behaving in its normal (binary) state through the weekend. Permanently engaged while there's a problem. Maybe they were using the phone to call Cisco.

    They did get the ADSL working lateish on Saturday, but didn't post any explaination. Down again Sunday AM. The only way it was possible to get _any_ info out of them was by dialing the phone faults line.

    Eclipse was still working even when was down. Maybe they should talk to the sister company about hosting "network status" pages?

  10. joe K

    Do simple things well

    And what's truly ridiculous is that they didn't go through the trouble of keeping their local call centre open beyond the normal 5pm to reassure subscribers wanting to know what was wrong, or at least leave a voice message on the switchboard service.

  11. Dr. Mouse

    @Roger & Martin; Be Unlimited

    Nope, was a serious problem, which racked up a 49-page post on the forum in only a few hours, and set the record for number of people online on the forums

    And it wasn't just HTTP traffic. I beleive it was a routing problem to the US, as UK sites (most of them anyway) were fine. I ended up connection through a mates PC by VPN, and many people said they were VPN'ing into work to maintain net access.

    As far as I know it wasn't just Be/O2, but I'm not sure. It was fixed in a few hours AFAIK.

  12. Pyers

    It could be worse...

    They could live in sCUNThorpe.

  13. Phill Holland


    "We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this caused our customers who were trying to access the Internet during this period."

    I love big companies who sincerely apologise for massive cock-ups, it appears to make up for everything. If the problems wern't so severe they'd probably drop the sincerity completely.

  14. Anonymous John

    "We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience"

    I hate that phrase!. When you have to grope your way round the house at night in a power cut, or don't have any running water due to a burst main, it's self evident you've been inconvenienced.

    Self evident to everyone but utility companies, that it. I complained to the local electricity company about the phrase on thier website a few years ago. Total waste of time as their reply again apologised for any inconvenience

  15. Yorkshirepudding

    eggs in one basket?

    i detect epic fail

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hull is restarting...

    ...please wait.

  17. A J Stiles

    @ Anonymous John

    LOL True Dat!

    And have you ever noticed the way that on buses and trains, they always say "Thank you for travelling with Foo Co Ltd." As if you actually had any choice in the matter, rather than Foo being the only operator serving your intended route!

  18. Norfolk Enchants Paris
    Dead Vulture

    Hull falls off the internet or....

    Maybe the Internet fell off Hull.

  19. pctechxp
    Jobs Horns

    It doesn't matter what you think

    Kcom are a monopoly so why would they feel the need to apologise to the poor unfortunates of Kingston upon Hull if it went down for two weeks, its not like they can get service elsewhere now is it?

    Evil Jobs because he wouldn't have had to apologise either.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh yes it does

    There is a monopoly in land lines and ADSL but not in mobile (thank god).

    So when it all went tits up at the weekend I simply plugged in my 3G Orange connection and it was service as usual all be it a bit slower.

    A number of people I know have switched to mobile internet because for those who don't use the internet a great deal its cheaper and means they can use it when mobile or for instance at home and at their business rather than having to pay for 2 adsl connections.

    I guess this means that the Orange etc. don't rely on the KCOM network locally.

  21. Zargof

    To be fair...

    ... it's probably better for the Internet if they don't let Hull on there. If you've ever been to Hull you would understand.

  22. Mark


    Karoo's website was available the whole time. I regularly checked their status page during the outage. That status being "Maintenance - All ADSL services"

  23. RW

    Re: "We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience"

    To which the proper rebuttal was "if you're so sincere, then put your money where your mouth is and pay your victims for their inconvenience."

    Did anyone die because inter-hospital comms were down?


    Along with other El Reg comment folks, I hate this kind of pseudo-politeness in business. Around here (Victoria, BC, Canada) the buses display the message "Sorry, I am ... not in service" where ... represents the display changing.

    How stupid. (Yes, divine moderatrix, I'm ranting.) The bus isn't sorry, the bus driver isn't sorry, the bus company isn't sorry, and the riders don't expect them to be sorry. The bus is simply NOT IN SERVICE, period. The pea brain who thought that this pseudo courtesy was a good idea overlooked the detail that because it takes a moment to switch the display between "sorry I am" and "not in service", the key information "not in service" is displayed less than 50% of the time.

    With aging eyes, even these modern LED displays are not easy to read under some conditions. When the display is switching back and forth between the two parts of this fake sentiment, it is sometimes very difficult to tell if an oncoming bus is the one you want or "not in service" until it roars past.


  24. Steven Jones

    No Sympathy

    I'm afraid I can't sympathise for the inhabitants of any city that voted for John Prescott as MP. I feel that being cut off from the civilised world is an appropriate punishment. Perhaps we can make it permanent?

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hull has Internet connectivity?

    Could this mean that they're only 10 years behind the times these days rather than the 25 of yore?

    I'm allowed to take the piss, I was born there.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    Hull resilience

    I don't live in Hull, and wouldn't, however cheap house prices are, or labour. Not if they cant keep dial up working, let alone anything better. If the rumours that a 10Mbps line costs £84k are true, watch us all take the ferry to Holland.....

    But, what is it with Britons that they winge and expect totally unqualified civil servants with zero business or any other experience to find the answers?

    To those in Hull - JFDI yourselves or shuddup.

    Or, go and take over the lifts at Hull City Council and make them all walk upstairs to their meetings. At some point, it will turn out the emergency services are required (too many pies - wasn't the fat git one of theirs?) and then they might react to the kcom problem when they can't get an ambulance.....

    kcom Internet down? Oh, well, those of us who weren't in Hull googled alt providers and found stuff like with SYMsip before we got bored a nano second later.

    Live and work in Hull? You must be joking whilst kcom are in charge, I'll get my coat...........

  27. Michael Davison

    Hull Daily Mail: Kcom apologises after firms hit out at costly Internet blackout


    Thousands of residents and businesses in Hull were left without Internet access for hours after Kcom suffered a network failure.

    Firms were counting the cost today after the broadband blackout over the weekend affected Karoo customers.

    The failure occurred at 3pm on Saturday and was not rectified until 11pm.

    Some large businesses and organisations, including Hull and East Yorkshire Hospital NHS Trust, escaped the problems because they have independent networks.

    But Adrian Eves, a Hull-based business manager for Panasonic Europe, said the company had suffered.

    He said: "This will have cost local businesses thousands of pounds.

    "I am extremely angry and frustrated with Kcom.

    "In my job, I have to communicate with factories and offices in China, Japan, the US and Germany."

    Dave Beasley, managing director of Classlane Media, a video production company based in Hessle, called for more choice of Internet suppliers for the city.

    He said: "I came in specially on the Saturday only to find the Internet wasn't working.

    "We had clients expecting to see a DVD on Sunday, but that was not feasible after the Internet went down.

    "Our deadlines haven't moved, but we lost a full day's work, so it was hugely inconvenient for us.

    "We are moving to Newport, near Howden, soon and we were jumping for joy that we will have other suppliers there."

    KCom, with its offices based in Carr Lane, Hull, apologised for any inconvenience the network failure may have caused their customers.

    A spokeswoman said: "We had a significant network failure on Saturday starting at about 3pm with service being restored at almost 11pm.

    "Working with our suppliers, Nortel and Cisco, we isolated the issue to restore the service.

    "We are working with our suppliers to understand the exact root cause of the issue and ensure the appropriate actions are taken to mitigate the risk of it happening again."

    Good work

  28. GrahamT
    Gates Horns

    Old prayer...

    From Hell, Hull and Halifax,

    May the Good Lord deliver us.

  29. BillPhollins


    "A spokeswoman said: "We had a significant network failure on Saturday starting at about 3pm with service being restored at almost 11pm."

    Almost 11pm? Is that in between half past and quarter to?

  30. TeeCee Gold badge


    Too true.

    I reckon the root cause of the problem is that the bloke whose job it is to convince data packets that Hull is actually an OK place to go while keeping a straight face and sounding sincere (years of training required), took the day off and his cover called in sick.

  31. Paul Stephenson


    This outage passed me bye, as I was in the pub getting bladdered! First thing I knew about it was when I read the apology email, which started "we are sorry"!

    Roll on ADSL2, with presumably equavlent packet shaping to take the whole point out of it! :)

    People may rip into KC, but I get a good service from them, the very occasional outage only seems to happen when I'm at work or out anyway and it's free to call any KC customer, which equates to pretty much any landline call I make bar the local doc's or free 0800's anyway.

    As said though, how it takes so long to fix these issue's is beyond me, especially if it was an upgrade that buggered it. Backout plan anyone?

    To whoever posted about how can you fix something without knowing what it was, I've done that a few times, not to mention just power-cycling :)

  32. Anonymous Coward

    @ Paul Stephenson

    "To whoever posted about how can you fix something without knowing what it was, I've done that a few times, not to mention just power-cycling :)"

    1) power-ycling doesn't take 7 hours

    2) If it was me, I wouldn't admit that after 7 hours of fumbling, I stumbled onto the solution by accident & I don't know what I did, or how to stop it happening again, to 100,000 customers.

    Last one out close the server room door. (Still here?)

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Pretty much the whole lot then ...

    Not only the Internet died. Their internal callcentres run over their internal VOIP system ..... over IP ..... smashing!

    That'll be the reason why when the whole of Hull phoned up the KCon "tech support" (hah!) lines all they got was a dead tone or no tone at all!

    Paris Hilton because KC have about as much a clue on how to run a telco as the plastic princess herself.

  34. Jon Gibbins

    @ Paul Stephenson

    'First thing I knew about it was when I read the apology email, which started "we are sorry"!'

    ... you got an email? Am I the only one who didn't receive it or are you the only one who did? :)

This topic is closed for new posts.

Other stories you might like