23-Dec-2010 15:03

Skype - Would you rely on them any longer?

Skype global blackout continues after network fault..

Millions of people around the globe continue to be affected by an outage at the free internet phone service Skype.
The firm said engineers were working to fix the problem which first started at around 2030 GMT on 22 December.

Skype said the fault had been caused by a "software issue" on critical parts of its network.

"We take outages like this really seriously and apologise for the inconvenience," Skype chief Tony Bates told BBC News.

In a blog post, the firm said that people were gradually coming back online.

"Millions of you are already reporting that you can now sign in to Skype normally, and we estimate that there are already almost 5 million people online," it read.

"As a guide, this is around 30% of what we'd expect at this time of day - and that number is increasing all the time."
Mr Bates estimated that Skype was losing around 10 million calls, when the problem first occurred.

BBC reader Igor Hnatko, who runs an outsourcing company in Kuala Lumpar, Malaysia, said his firm had been "severely affected" by the outage.

"It had made me realise to what extent my business is dependent on VOIP technology and Skype as a solution to keeping in touch with clients, and employees," he said.
"Usually, Skype service is of a very high standard, but today, it has been non-existent."

He said his employees had been "unable to log into Skype at all".

"We do accounting and tax for Australian accounting firms here in Kuala Lumpur and during this crucial period in the run-up to the holidays, when our capacity is 100% taken up, we have experienced Skype collapse, which is disappointing to say the least.

"We have started looking at some alternatives, but Skype product has been a part of our business for the last five years, and having to switch to an alternative provider would be hard, but we will have to have that as a back-up plan following this incident."

Om Malik, an industry commentator and editor of the website, echoed his statements.

"Skype is one of the key applications of the modern web," he wrote.

"It is already a hit with consumers, and over the past few years it has become part of the economic fabric for startups and small businesses around the world. I am not sure we can comprehend the productivity cost of this outage.

"The outage comes at a time when Skype is starting to ask larger corporations for their business. If I am a big business, I would be extremely cautious about adopting Skype for business, especially in light of this current outage," added Mr Malik.

Would you rely on them?

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Contributed by Andrew Crook on 23-Dec-2010 22:27
Considering elements of skype are p2p theoretically they should be able to design it in a way that it never has total failure.

However, most services even with a SLA guarantee only 99.9% uptime.

Contributed by Simon"Telemarketing" Owens on 23-Dec-2010 17:52

Forget Skype...

Twitter is better than that and everything else, so the digital gurus say... Skype is so 2007.

Simon Owens
Talking Business Ltd

b2b Telemarketing
Database Cleaning - Lead Generation - Appointment Making - Sales Training
Contributed by Norman Feiner on 23-Dec-2010 17:51

Nope ;-)

..but calls > China & China Mobile can be made for just 0.8p (less than 1p!)

Contributed by Steve Hall on 23-Dec-2010 17:51

What? No China Norman?

Kind Regards

Steve Hall
Contributed by Steve Hall on 23-Dec-2010 17:50

I never RELIED on them before and have no intention of relying on them yet.

As you say, there are many great options out there and I know you market many of them.

Kind Regards

Steve Hall

Follow my CYCLE journey through England (and beyond!) to raise awareness of the world´s 45 million refugees. Please
Contributed by Norman Feiner on 23-Dec-2010 17:50
Your high'ish levels of usage obviously benefit from a free service & good luck to you too Paul...

If anyone is interested (and just contact me directly), SimplyFone do an inclusive UK & International call plan @ £14.80+ vat per month.

The inclusive plan supports 2000 free minutes to any UK landline + 2000 free minutes to about 15+ International & UK destinations including USA & Canada landline and mobile - that's 2000 minutes to 'each' destination, not a total of 2000 mins p/month.

Destinations included in plan (landline unless mentioned):
UK (01,02,03)
UK (020)

Norman F.
Contributed by Paul Clark on 23-Dec-2010 17:49

Skype remains an outstanding FREE service.

I use Skype approximately 15 hrs per week on calls from UK to Canada and USA. Call quality is generally very good. Two major outages (approx 24 hrs each) in 3 years is an entirely acceptable service level for the price I pay (i.e. nil).

Yesterday, with Skype offline, I used GoToMeeting just for the voice channel, which did the job just fine, but that does raise the real point - is reliance on a single point of network connection acceptable? In my experience BT drops my line more often than Skype goes down, so a secondary connection / mobile phone is essential.

For mobile calls to overseas, services like yours are certainly a great cost saver. I in fact use localphone (no connection to them; just a happy user), who offer a very convenient and cost effective service. I particularly like that they let me map a dedicated localphone number to each destination number I call, so I can add the localphone numbers to my mobile phone address book and don't need to remember any special codes.

And very happy that I have skype back again today!
Paul Clark
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