BBC website and iPlayer offline after faults

BBC homepage The BBC's homepage could not be reliably accessed for more than an hour

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The BBC's internet services have suffered a number of glitches.

Parts of the main website were unavailable for more than an hour on Wednesday. The BBC's iPlayer catch-up service also went offline.

The broadcaster said the problem was caused by a failure at its data centres, adding that it was still investigating the root cause of the incident.

It follows a similar hour-long outage in March 2011.

The latest failure caused the site's contents to become inaccessible shortly after 20:00 BST.

Although sections of the site, such as were back online by 21:00, attempts to access the BBC's front page still proved problematic over the following hour.

Traffic managers blamed

A post on the BBC Internet Blog said that services had been fully restored by 22:10 after an issue involving its computer servers had been addressed.

"The problem was caused by a failure of the traffic managers in both our data centres," wrote Richard Cooper, controller of digital distribution at BBC Future Media.

"These traffic managers are a critical part of our infrastructure, responsible for handling all requests to the site, and routing those requests to the right servers. They are designed to be highly reliable, and have served us very well to date.

"We are still investigating the root cause of this incident, and I would like to apologise for any inconvenience that this outage may have caused."

The fault coincided with another issue that caused the BBC News' sites Most Popular section to include month-old stories on Wednesday.

These included "Flooding and storm warnings across England" and "Camerons left daughter at pub" prompting some users to click on the stories again.

The BBC News website's editor, Steve Herrmann, had acknowledged the issue in a tweet sent before the site went offline: "Working to fix issue of old stories showing in 'Most read' list on @BBCNews site. We're sorry and hope to fix soon."

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