back to article Demon Internet goes TITSUP: Outage borks ancient ISP

Demon internet broadband users are currently unable to connect, with the company reporting a complete outage of its services. The internet provider first reported problems at 08:43 this morning. According to Demon, engineers have localised the issue and further engineers have been despatched to a network site. "Our focus …

  1. Boothy

    Single point of failure?

  2. Colin Miller


    It looks like their CHAP server has gone for a wee lie-down in a quiet darkened corner.

    1. Colin Miller

      Re: CHAP

      It's been given a slap on the cheek and a double espresso, and crawled back to action.

    2. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: CHAP

      CHAP came back before lunch, but the DHCP server wasn't talking to me. DHCP got fixed during lunch, and I could ping the gateway, but nothing beyond. Full service was restored some time before I posted this.

  3. Bob Vistakin

    Perhaps this car dealer uses them as an ISP

    Since their site recently died too.

  4. Jad

    Alternate Routes

    Good job we took the precaution of installing multiple lines at most sites, with different ISP's ...

    We've been with Demon a very long time, and although they went through a rough patch, they have been very reliable up until this incident ...

    Never mind ...

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon

      Re: Alternate Routes

      That's all very well, but most ISP's still use BT to backhaul their data.

      Lots of people were very upset when someone cut through a bearer carrying 120 fiber lines during the upgrade to the Jubilee line. Lots of them had paid for diverse routes you see.

      It's a myth.

      1. Scott Broukell

        Re: Alternate Routes

        @ Sir Runcible Spoon - "It's a myth" - Presumably that's because all fiber lines lead to Roam ?

  5. joewilliamsebs

    Looks like a SPOF has F'ed.

    We only have a single client still using them, who of course have moved everything to cloud systems but didn't think a backup connection was a worthwhile investment.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ah that's why I couldn't get onto CIX today

    I just assumed my dial up modem had finally died.

    1. DrGoon

      Re: Ah that's why I couldn't get onto CIX today

      I wonder if there was an outage notification in tenner.a.month?

  7. Colin Miller

    AFTER 13:45

    Does "After 13:45" mean shortly after, or anytime after, possibly upto close-of-business?

    1. hplasm

      Re: AFTER 13:45

      It implies sometime after the late 14th Century...

    2. Chris Fox

      Re: AFTER 13:45

      There were actually updates at 12:23 and 13:10. The article itself is a bit misleading: it seems to suggest that the notice had been pushed back from 12:30 to 13:45, when in reality it was the "12:30" notice (actually posted at 12:23) that provided the information that there would be *another* update after 13.45. The 13:10 notice stating service had resumed also said there will be a further update at 16:00... so now I expect the reg article will be revised again to say that the update has now been pushed back to 16:00. Demon, with its gradually declining customer service, is already quite good at annoying users without the reg having to distort the facts.

  8. Topsy


    My first ISP was Demon, and that was in 1994, when you could phone Cliff to resolve any tech issues (or to sign up in the first place). I was demonised for many years, some say I still am. I think I need a beer.

    1. Ancient Oracle funkie

      Re: Demonised

      Ooh, another old-timer!

      Can't remember when I joined but it was waaaaaay back when, back in the days when you received an actual printed magazine every quarter. We did defect to BT in order to get 64Kbp ISDN - oh the speed!!! But I think we kept the Demon account for my wife's email address.

      It's been a weird morning as I was receiving mail around 7:15, well when I say receiving mail - I had a meeting in my Outlook calendar but no invite in my Inbox. But by the time I saw this the net was long gone!

      Oh well, off to BT soon as my local exchange is about to become all fibred up.

      1. launcap Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        Re: Demonised

        > Ooh, another old-timer!

        Likewise. From the mid-90's to mid 2000's. Which was then I finally got tired of talking to script-reading drones at support rather than the previous techies. And went to a proper ISP (idnet)

        I picked them because they had a FAQ about how to do dial-on-demand[1] in my 0.99pl15 linux slackware box and also full instructions on how to set up a mail server..

        Kids today eh? They just don't know how lucky they are!

        [1] On my speeeeeeeedy Zoom 14.4k internal modem. Which got eventually replaced by 33K modem, then by BT Home Highway on ISDN (they had an all-you-could-eat package which allowed 2 channels to be bonded thus giving a stonking 128K), then by DSL.

    2. Salts

      Re: Demonised

      Me too :-)

    3. Matt Collins

      Re: Demonised

      Oh dear, I also remember speaking to Cliff to sign up in the early 90's too! I left them just recently when our exchange went FTTC and they said they couldn't do it, no plans for our exchange and probably wouldn't ever... not what I wanted to hear, especially with their competition practically beating our door down, so I moved to Zen.

      1. Qu Dawei

        Re: Demonised

        I joined in the early 90s, and stayed with them until around 2004.

    4. Havin_it

      Re: Demonised

      I've got a bit of a thing for the old brigade: I joined Demon mid-noughties when jumping ship from Pipex (who'd just been headcrabbed by the truly execrable Tiscali). Still with'em today, mainly due to the fact that successive owners have been fairly hands-off so there's still some sensible/ethical governance going on.

      That said, yesterday wasn't the first or even the third time they've dropped multiple connections first thing in the morning (they're ISP for home and office, and both went down simultaneously). Whether the same cause underlies all the incidents I don't know, but hope to find out.

      Also they were spitting out lots of IWF paedofilter error pages recently (no, not for paedo-centric pages, I checked using Google DNS lol) which makes me wonder if they're gearing up to implement the Mumsnet filter. If that happens, off to A&A it may well have to be.

  9. Jusme


    ...the hamster needs an Orange Frutie Ice lolly and a fastboot.

  10. Marc 13

    It was up for a 2 mins at 10:10 :-)

    Long enough for my client's boxes to email me and tell me they couldn't update their AV definitions!


  11. fatbaldneil

    Our monitoring showed the first issue at 07:58 this morning which is nearly 1 hour before Demon reported the problem.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      My connection also went down at this time.

      I called support at 08:15 took them about 10 mins to answer, 5 mins to get my details to support as the Indian gentleman could not understand my northern English accent nor the phonetic alphabet as I spelled out each word for him, I was then informed it was a known issue.

      The first notification on status was about 08:50, initially it said it would be resolved at 12:00. These have been added/removed and changed during the course of the morning.

      Connections came backup again about 13:30.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        A couple of years ago I discovered that I was paying Demon well over the odds for my broadband domestic tariff - which I had had since 2003 at £24.99 a month. Unfortunately they would not move me to one of their cheaper domestic tariffs - as they were no longer signing new customers for those.

        So I ended up with a Demon business "lite" tariff. A lot cheaper than I was paying previously - with the welcome bonus of a guaranteed UK help desk.

        Would have preferred a dynamic IPv4 address - but their business tariffs are always fixed ones. With no need for incoming connections - it would have been nice to have a bit more protection against a DOS aimed at my Demon sub-domain.

        1. Havin_it

          That's surprising, I had a similar revelation last year and they were happy to move me to the same-priced business tariff.

          Of course, it may have helped that I was letting them sell me a phone line at the same time...

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My router logs showed that the outage here started at 04:34 - then came back at 13:29.

    It may have been up after I gave up waiting at 09:30 - but the rolling log now only goes back to 10:57.

  13. Anonymous Coward 101

    Do they have something to do with Tesco Broadband?

    Because that has been down nationwide all day as well, but has recently come back up.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Demon have been going downhill for years

    Ever since Thus bought them out. I remember when they used to have push email - which people still think is cutting edge unbelievably - whereby as soon as you connected it would attempt to connect to an SMTP server on your machine. But then they decided to "improve" the email service by switching to some Microsoft system and naturally push email wasn't supported. So that went. And good luck trying to get any webspace these days with a new account and even if you do have some already you probably noticed the 3 days the homepages FTP server was down for. Hopeless service. I just use them as a failover backup, I long ago stopped using them as my main ISP.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Demon have been going downhill for years

      "[...] good luck trying to get any webspace these days with a new account [...]"

      It was a surprise that my Demon Business Lite came with only 20MB of web space. That allocation hadn't changed in over a decade. Really it is not much use for anything these days.

      1. jbuk1

        Re: Demon have been going downhill for years

        You should be able to fit at least a couple of hundred animated undercontruction gifs in 20MB. Bundles of space.

  15. Nick Kew
    Black Helicopters

    Have they sorted out their billing yet?

    I was with Demon for a while. I think I must've signed up when I returned to Blighty in 1998 and they were kind-of known as the geeks ISP.

    I remember I paid a year in advance, so I had no reason to expect them to feature in my bank statements. No doubt there'll be a few weeks notice and then another debit on the anniversary of my signing?

    Nope, next thing I know it's a letter from debt collectors. WTF?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Have they sorted out their billing yet?

      Probably worse under Thus.

      Two years ago I wanted to move to a different Demon tariff - and was told it would cost £50 for the reconfiguration charge. I complained to Thus Head Office - as they were offering new customers a "free" connection. So much for over a decade of customer loyalty. HQ said that the sales line had got it wrong and there wouldn't be a reconfiguration charge.

      When I did finally change tariffs they eventually tried to charge me twice for the month before the new tariff took effect. A free modem was part of the deal. A few months later they invoiced a lot of people for something like £50 for their "free" modem due to an "accounting oversight". After protests they eventually rescinded that as being an accounting error. My two year contract comes up for renewal soon - I'll try to be a bit sharper this time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Have they sorted out their billing yet?

        I managed the opposite experience. Having been a customer since the 90s, my service stopped working a few years back after the cat rebooted the router. On phoning them I was told that I'd cancelled the service 3 months previously (news to me) but they could offer a much better deal, completely ignoring the fact that they hadn't charged me for the last quarter.

        Recently ir's been a real mess - I've twice had letters threatening court action and been informed that payments had been "reversed by my bank". After admitting that was bollocks the letters kept coming but a friendly bloke on the phone just sighed, told me to ignore them and muttered darkly about the billing system.

        1. The Real Tony Smith

          Re: Have they sorted out their billing yet?

          'the cat rebooted the router'

          Why did you let the cat have root access?????

          1. Number6

            Re: Have they sorted out their billing yet?

            Having been told by its four predecessors about the network, it probably wanted to retrieve the Cat-5 cable.

            1. Danny 14

              Re: Have they sorted out their billing yet?

              Ours moved from Thus to vodaphone billing some time ago. We have a backup business ADSL with them as it was the cheapest ADSL that wasn't on our fibre network (pointless having a backup internet connection that shares the same backhaul...)

              It is load balanced out anyway (guest traffic prioritised on the backup line until failover) and hasn't given us any grief whatsoever in the years we have had them. Apart from the rubbish Thomson router that came with it for "free" I haven't had any real outages.

          2. Nick Kew

            Re: Have they sorted out their billing yet?

            Wouldn't it have been a useless use of cat without the root access?

            I'll get me c[o]at.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    "Engineers and field engineers continue to work toward restoring services "

    Update 1: "The engineers responsible for dispatching the field engineers have been sacked. A new cohort of engineers is being sent to send the field engineers out again".

    Update 2: "The new engineers having been found to be unsatisfactory have also been sacked, as have the field engineers. Those responsible for the sacking have also been sacked. The repair will be completed by an entirely new company at great expense and at the last minute..."

  17. -v(o.o)v-

    Localisation of issues

    "According to Demon, engineers have localised the issue"

    Me? I always localise issues to Burmese. 'Cause I'm cool like that. Sometimes I even locate issues if I feel like fixing stuff.

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