Faulty switch sends BBC offline

The whole of the BBC's public-facing network disappeared from the internet late last night. Although the outage only lasted for around an hour, the unavailability of popular sites such as BBC News and iPlayer caused an eruption of comments and complaints on Twitter and other social networking sites.

Tony Ageh, the Controller of BBC Archives, broke more than 4 months of silence on Twitter to express his frustration. Fellow employee Mo McRoberts responded, saying that "somebody responsible for our routers did something very silly indeed. took out the whole lot." He later confirmed that the outage was not caused by a denial of service (DoS) attack. (McRoberts' tweets are his own, and not necessarily those of his employer).

The BBC's technology correspondent, Rory Cellan-Jones, summarised the widespread impact: "Love the terse bulletin on last night's BBC web failure. Cause of issue: faulty switch. Services impacted: Everything.."

The BBC News website suffered similar outages back in 2007 when a routine software deployment caused some unforeseen performance issues.