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BBC.co.uk outages – is it ready for the Olympics?

While it may be one of the world’s finest and most respected news gathering and broadcasting operations, the BBC has never designed, set up and run a web site for the Olympics. KitGuru notices when things don’t go 100% smoothly.

With just 15 days to go, the world plus dog will be accessing the BBC’s web site to see if China, Russia and the USA has managed to win more or less than one third of the gold medals available (they managed to snatch 110 out of the 302 available in Beijing 4 years ago).

That kind of traffic, from all over the English-speaking world, will put pressure on the BBC’s back end.

On Wednesday 11th July, the BBC’s back end suffered a prolonged outage – a worrying sign ahead of the Olympic games.

Speaking to the press association, the BBC responded “Due to a major technical issue, BBC Online was down on Wednesday evening. Service was restored to most users within an hour. We are working on full restoration as quickly as possible, and are investigating the causes of the outage”.

Globally, users had been met with a proper “We are experiencing abnormal traffic to our network or the service or servers it is on is not currently available” kind of message, when all they really wanted was an Olympics update.

Nice to see a '500 Internal Error' message replace the Olympic pages - fills you with confidence

KitGuru says: It’s cute to see that the old ‘Test Card Clown’ on fire, is the BBC technical team’s icon for a total disaster. Let’s hope that the Director General of the BBC has plenty of 50 pence pieces for the electricity metre when Usain Bolt starts in the 100m finals.

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