BBC's online services downed by 'technical issue'

December 31, 2015 | 10:58

Tags: #broadcaster #down #iplayer #outage #website

Companies: #bbc #twitter

The BBC's entire online presence, including its iPlayer streaming video service, has been knocked offline this morning by what the broadcaster is calling a 'technical issue.'

First spotted early this morning, the issue began with requests to the BBC's websites returning an HTTP Error 500 response indicating an error internal to the web servers. This has extended throughout the morning, knocking the company's entire web presence offline including its popular iPlayer streaming TV platform.

So far, no announcement has been made as to the cause of the issue. The BBC's press office issued a short statement this morning via third-party microblogging platform Twitter confirming the issue, stating only that the broadcaster is 'aware of a technical issue affecting the BBC website' and that work is ongoing to restore access. 'We'll update you as soon as we can,' the message concluded.

For the BBC, the loss of its web services is a blow: the company has invested considerable money into its interactive and streaming services, which are accessible outside the UK through advertising and purchase fees and account for considerable income. The timing is also unfortunate: the company has been pushing its Make It Digital campaign this year, in which it hopes to encourage youths to take up programming and other technical professions by demonstrating how beneficial and exciting technology can be.

At the time of writing, no restoration timescale was available from the BBC for its digital services. Its broadcast services remain unaffected.

UPDATE 11:44
The BBC, having restored access to its services, has cited sources within the BBC that the outage was the result of a distributed denial of service (DDoS) attack rather than an error on its own part. Thanks to the somewhat odd way the BBC's news arm operates, though, this has yet to be formally confirmed by the BBC's operational division.
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