BBC says iPlayer technical problems 'fixed'

Main iPlayer page The iPlayer was only intermittently available for most of the weekend

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The BBC says the technical problems that hit the iPlayer and many other online services have been resolved.

The iPlayer service was out of action over most of the weekend thanks to problems with the database behind the catch-up service.

The faults also meant only a simplified version of the BBC's homepage was shown, while online video and audio clips were also disrupted.

A BBC spokesman said it was "pretty confident" the faults were now cleared.

"BBC iPlayer, BBC iPlayer Radio and other parts of BBC Online that were affected by problems over the weekend are now up and running," he said. "Our teams continue to investigate the problem to ensure this doesn't happen again."

He added: "We will be publishing more details about the problem in due course on the BBC's internet blog."

The duration of the outage led reporters to question BBC boss Tony Hall about the problems on a day when the corporation unveiled its annual report.

Mr Hall said that he would look into the cause of the problems and added: "99.9% of the time the iPlayer works very well".

Internal investigation

While the iPlayer was not working the corporation put out statements via Twitter apologising several times for the inconvenience.

The apology did not mollify many people who strongly criticised the BBC about the length of the disruption.

BBC director general Tony Hall: "99.9% of the time the iPlayer works very well"

The problems for the iPlayer and many other sites started on the morning of 19 July when engineers noticed that there was a "severe load" on the servers underlying the video-on-demand system.

In addition, reports reached the BBC that viewers were getting slow response times for some services or were seeing errors saying a programme or clip was not available.

Soon after the BBC noticed, messages were also received from network engineers at internet service providers (ISPs) including Virgin Media, which were also logging problems with the iPlayer and other BBC video traffic.

Later in the day, the service became unavailable via the web and through smartphone apps.

Internal logs of the incident and how it was handled showed that database administrators, network engineers and system analysts were all called on to see if they could diagnose the problem and fix it.

Work continued throughout the weekend to try to stabilise the servers and database supporting the iPlayer and many other BBC services.

The final fixes for the problems were expected to be applied on 21 July when the vast majority of people should be able reach the web-based video services as normal.

The BBC said it would issue a statement when it knew more about the cause of the glitches.

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