BT, TalkTalk and Plusnet broadband are DOWN across parts of the UK after a FIRE in Newcastle leaves customers unable to make calls or connect to the internet
- The cause of the issue is thought to be a fire in a building in Newcastle
- Thousands of customers report serious issues getting online and making calls
- Fire has now been contained and engineers are on-site trying to fix the issue
Customers of Sky, BT and TalkTalk are experiencing a mass internet outage across the UK.
The cause of the issue is a fire in an Openreach building Newcastle which damaged the cables carrying the internet to the region.
The vast Openreach network is used by internet providers BT, Sky, Plusnet and TalkTalk, with only rival Virgin using independent infrastructure.
Thousands of customers reported issues getting online and making calls from around 12:30pm and the issues are still ongoing.
Of all complaints regarding all three broadband providers, the vast majority (93 per cent) are due to internet access.
It appears the bulk of the connectivity issues are in the North-East of England but a large concentration are reported outside of this region.
Downdetector also shows clear connectivity issues for EE’s fixed internet, with a high volume of complaints in Gateshead, Newcastle and Sunderland, indicating it may be due to the fire.
Pictured, TalkTalk outage as reported by users via Downdetector. It shows a large-scale problem across the UK
Pictured, live outage map of issues for Plusnet. spokesperson said the issue was due to a fire which had now been contained and engineers are on site to fix the issue
Pictured, live outage map for BT. It appears the bulk of the connectivity issues are in the North-East of England but a large concentration are reported outside of this region
BT’s service status website confirms the provider has also been affected by an outage in the Newcastle and Jesmond area.
A BT spokesperson told MailOnline: ‘We’re aware some customers are currently experiencing problems when trying to make calls or connect to the internet.
‘This is due to a fire in Newcastle, which has now been contained. Our engineers are on site and working quickly to resolve this.
‘We apologise to our customers for any inconvenience caused.’
A Plusnet spokesperson issued an identical statement.
Talktalk meanwhile issued a statement which said: ‘We’re aware that some customers in and around the North East of England are currently experiencing a loss of service due to a fire at a local BT Openreach site in Newcastle, impacting a number of providers.
‘We’d like to apologise for the inconvenience and we’re working with local engineers to restore service as soon as possible.’
MailOnline has approached EE for comment.
Commenting on the outage, Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at UK mobile and broadband comparison, said most Uk networks have handled increased traffic during the coronavirus lockdown well.
‘The reported BT and TalkTalk outages are certainly set to frustrate those still attempting to work from home, but historically both networks have been swift in addressing the problems, so will likely be a short-term inconvenience rather than an extended issue,’ he adds.
‘Households will still be able to connect to the internet by using their mobile device as a WIFI hotspot, although those choosing to do so in order to continue to work from home should be aware that using your mobile in such a way will use up data, and any data-intensive activity – such as video streaming – will speed up this process, so you need to be aware of your limits.’
Lockdown has seen huge demand for residential broadband, with traffic surging enormously in the UK.
Internet provider Openreach recorded the busiest day ever on its network on June 30.
That one day saw more than 189 petabytes of data consumed by customers via Openreach in the UK, smashing the previous record of 184 PB set on June 11.
An overall increase in internet consumption has been driven by adults working from home and children doing online lessons during the coronavirus pandemic.
Openreach says that in a pre-lockdown world, average weekly consumption was around 660 petabytes. At the start of June 2020, this soared to almost 1,000 PB.
However, the record-breaking days on June 11 and now on June 30 were largely due to the mass downloading of enormous Call of Duty updates.