The previous few days have seen a flurry of complaints from South Africans regarding difficulties accessing YouTube material.
Since at least Wednesday, December 28, 2022, users have noticed that the platform has extremely sluggish Internet connections and video content loading when utilizing specific devices.
During the evening of that day, complaints of user troubles on YouTube’s South African Downdetector page significantly increased.
The reports increased significantly again at approximately 9:00 AM on Thursday, December 29, 2022, and were high for the remainder of the day, following a modest decline in the early morning hours.
A problem with “video streaming” was noticed by more than 80% of people who reported it. Long loading times for videos were described as “terrible” and “painfully” painful in user comments.
Was the YouTube server down? I see that it streams just well on mobile data, but not over Wi-Fi,” one user said, further speculating as to whether a recent upgrade could have contributed to the issue.
Another person said they called their Internet service provider (ISP) and got an automated message confirming Google was aware of the problem and its experts were looking into it.
One ISP, Vox, acknowledged to a client that there was a Google-related issue but gave no other information.
However, the Android and PlayStation applications were “all but worthless,” according to a third user, who said that YouTube loaded without any issues for them when viewed in a browser. Similar concerns and requests for responses from YouTube flooded Twitter.
Google first denies the issue before changing their mind
By the time of publication, Google has not responded to inquiries about the problem. However, several well-known South African Internet service providers (ISPs) informed us that there was a YouTube issue affecting many ISPs and fiber infrastructure providers.
One claimed that the problem affected both providers with and without on-network Google Global Caches, demonstrating once further that it was not an ISP-specific problem.
ISPs who have their caches reportedly seem to be more affected, according to another source. Google first denied that it was the cause of the issue, but a spokeswoman later told ISPs that the company was looking into it.
“Several of our colleagues sent us several reports. We’re already looking into it internally at Google, and we’ll keep you updated,” a spokeswoman stated.
Google stated in an email that noticed that it did not have an anticipated time to discover the problem and that its internal teams were still working on it.
One ISP notified that the problem seems to be specifically confined to South Africa since it was resolved by avoiding the local point of presence and routing through the UK.