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UK internet outages remain high despite global slowdown

Majority of UK outages were ISP-based, including last week’s Virgin Media downtime

Global networking

UK internet outages remained high last week despite an overall drop in global outages, according to data from network intelligence company ThousandEyes. 

ThousandEyes, which examined outages between 27 April and 3 May, found that the majority of UK disruptions were ISP-based. This includes last week’s widespread Virgin Media outage, which affected thousands of users across the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands. 

Downdetector recorded over 30,000 complaints when the service first went down on Monday evening, with repeated spikes from 5 pm to 1 am the next morning. Although a Virgin Media spokesperson told IT Pro that it was "fixed in the early hours of [Tuesday] morning", over 2,000 customers were still having issues at around 10 am on Tuesday. 

Despite the significant Virgin Media problems, ThousandEyes said it recorded zero cloud provider and collaboration app network provider outages during the same week. Globally, the company noted a slight drop in ISP outages last week, while cloud provider and collaboration app network provider outages were down by at least half.

Angelique Medina, director of product marketing at ThousandEyes, said that last week she saw “around 282 outages, which is a reduction from the previous week”. 

“And 98 of those were in the US, so that’s overall, that’s including ISPs, public cloud providers, video conferencing app networks, as well as DNS, CDN networks”.

In late March, ThousandEyes launched its Internet Outages Map, a tool that provides real-time visualisation of the current state of global internet health. The map aims to provide consumers, businesses, industry analysts and other parties with an insight into ongoing and recent internet outages that may be affecting the experiences of their customers or employees.

The lockdown has seen an increasing number of network outages as people became reliant on the internet for work during the pandemic. Last week, hundreds of TSB customers reported issues with its mobile and internet banking services in which appeared to be another IT outage for the company. 

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