Over the last few weeks, we’ve had a number of reports from clients who have been having problems updating their work on Okappy.
We have been investigating extensively since the issue was first raised and have been updating our Okappy status site in order to keep our customer aware. At no time have we found any issue with any of our systems which have been operating well with normal limits. However, we have added extra capacity as a precaution.
From our investigations and conversations with customers, the issue appears to be with BT. BT is an Internet Service Provider (ISP) and as such, all customers that use them will have traffic routed through their systems.
The modem on your computer will communicate with your router
The router will communicate with your Internet Service Provider (ISP)
The ISP will connect with a Domain Name Server to understand where to route the request
The request will then be passed to our systems
Our systems will process the request and send the data back
Unfortunately, this means there are many potential points of failure between your system and Okappy. This could result in the connection being slow, intermittent or not available.
The issue some of customers are seeing is with an intermittent connection where requests get dropped or timeout. As it’s a dropped connection or timeout, this will not show up in a broadband speed test. You’re also unlikely to see any issues with most websites which are serving static pages such as as the BBC website. However, for dynamic sites such as Okappy, you are doing multiple requests every minute and if one of those requests fails the browser will appear to freeze or crash. In which case, the only option is to refresh the screen.
BT have updated their own BT Status page to say that they are aware of a problem that may be preventing some customers logging into their BT Mail account via bt.com. We believe this could be linked to the issues that our customers are seeing.
There have also been a number of reports of issues with BT registered with DownDetector.
The problem appears to be that connections are dropped. This means that clients can log into Okappy and update work but every so often, if the browser tries to connect to Okappy’s systems it won’t get through which causes the browser to freeze or crash.
We have spoken to BT but unfortunately they won’t provide any information to us as we are not the account holder.
What you can do
Unfortunately this is very frustrating both for you and ourselves. We have implemented additional measures to mitigate the issues but ultimately there is very little we can do if your ISP is slow..
Below are some additional steps you can take.
You can reset your router in a number of different ways. The easiest way is to simply switch it off, leave it for 30-60 seconds and then switch it back on again. That is normally enough to fix most internet connectivity issues.
A more drastic option is a hard reset of the router. This will set the software back to its factory settings so it is in the same state as when it was first installed. Note: You will need to update any settings that you have changed on either your router or your computers WiFi connection.
If resetting your router still does not work, you may want to consider replacing your router. Your ISP may do this for you anyway if you ask, if not purchasing a more powerful router may improve the performance of your WiFi dramatically.
Check your network for any processes that could be using a lot of your network bandwidth. This could be someone using Zoom or similar, someone downloading large files or even watching a movie. It could also be a cloud service such as Dropbox or Google Drive syncing your files.
If the issue is caused by Google Drive or Dropbox, you can pause the process for now. Likewise if someone is downloading files or watching a movie, perhaps best to wait till a quieter time.
If only one computer is affected, then a reduction in performance could also be due to the computer doing something which is taking up a lot of the processors time or memory. Check Task Manager in Windows or Activity Monitor on a Mac for any processes which are taking up a lot of CPU time or memory. If you do see a process which is taking up a lot of resource, it might be worth terminating the process (assuming you know what the process is for).
If you are using BT for your internet and are facing problems, then we would urge you to contact them and log the issue. They may also be able to offer a solution to fix it. At the very least it would help get the issues escalated internally if they are receiving lots of calls.
If the above steps have not worked, you could use your phones hotspot and tether your computer to it. This would route your traffic away from BT, providing the phone was not using its WiFi connection. Note: This will use your phone’s data which could incur charges. Performance will be dependant on the strength of the mobile network.
Your IT support department or company may be able to run additional diagnostic checks and optimise the configuration of your router or network. If you don’t have an IT support company, we can provide details of some companies that may be able to help.
Please see our status page for all the latest system updates.