Stranger pings. Five weird reasons the internet broke.

Josh | Social Media & Content Lead

If you ever have a problem with your connection, we’ll do everything in our power to get you up and running again. But some things are simply out of our control. Here are five of the weirdest and most wonderful reasons the internet went down.

Staying connected with ultrafast full fibre

One of the many, many, many reasons to upgrade to full fibre broadband is that it’s more reliable than other broadband technologies. Fibre optic cables are less likely to be impacted by extreme weather. And full fibre copes better with surges in demand.

Of course, if you do ever have a problem with your connection, we’ll do everything in our power to get you up and running again. In the meantime, here are five of the weirdest and most wonderful reasons the internet went down that even we might have struggled with.

A bit fishy

In 2022, the cable linking the Shetlands to the mainland was severed by a fishing dredger. The islands were plunged into digital darkness. Payment systems failed. And many islanders were left with no access to internet, phones or computers for a week. They couldn’t even watch ‘Shetland’.

The fastest milk van in the north!

In 2021, a rogue milk van in the Ayrshire town of Kilbirnie hurtled through a T-Junction and wiped out a telecommunications box and the internet connection. 7,280 forlorn Scots had to munch their breakfast porridge without their regular helping of breakfast telly.

What lies beneath?

When the internet crashed in Hertfordshire in early 2023, the locals smelt a rat. Or rather several hundred. Engineers discovered that Roland and his ratty pals had nibbled through casing and cables that usually took a drill to penetrate. It's not just rats though. Cats often take a liking to ethernet cables too. Although, as ever, the dog normally gets the blame. 

A rat in a pipe

Do not adjust your set.

Copper technology will soon be obsolete. Good thing too when you consider how fragile it is. Back in 2012, a Welsh village was left without internet every morning. Engineers were baffled. Until they found an ancient telly emitting frequencies which interfered with the equally ancient ADSL broadband.

old fashioned TV set

The lesser-spotted Attenborough

Sir David might be a national treasure in the UK, but in 2017 our favourite nonagenarian also took China by storm. His Blue Planet II programme proved so popular with viewers that it caused the internet to slow to a crawl more ponderous than a three-toed sloth as hundreds of millions simultaneously streamed the show.

A sloth hanging form the tree

Less weird. More wonderful.

Cuckoo full fibre broadband is significantly more reliable. It’s also very, very fast and can handle as much traffic as you can throw at it. We’re rolling it out across the country now so if you’re ready to get onboard, check if we’re available in your area. If not, sign up to be the first to know when we are.

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