YouTube experiencing outages in South Africa

Over the last several weeks, YouTube has been experiencing video loading issues in South Africa. Interestingly, the buffering issues have been happening on specific videos and not always across the entire YouTube site. The range of issues reported were varied, from connectivity issues through WiFi, to very slow loading times on HD video as opposed to 720p.

Read: The Withings urine scanner lives in your toilet

YouTube has now admitted that they are experiencing issues in South Africa, but have been light on details as to what those issues are and why it seems to be specifically applicable in Mzanzi. Or rather, YouTube has admitted these issues to South African ISPs, not users complaining on social media.

Multiple ISPs have said that the issue was impacting providers with and without on-network Google Global Caches — suggesting it was not limited to certain ISPs. Another ISP said that ones with their own caches appeared to be more heavily impacted.

“We received multiple reports from several peers. Our internal teams are already investigating, we’ll keep you posted,” Google told ISPs. When asked for comment, Google said it might take some time to resolve since many local Google employees were on leave at the end of December. Since then, a YouTube spokesperson has since confirmed that the company encountered a problem that resulted in slow video loading times.

“We have now resolved the issue. We are sorry for the inconvenience this may have caused our users in South Africa,” they said on January 11th, 2023. The spokesperson did not provide more details about the cause of the slow buffering or when and how it was fixed.

Have you experienced any YouTube issues? We saw a lot of buffering issues and the auto quality adjustment jumping significantly between different streaming options over the last several weeks. It was still an issue on January 10th – we are yet to see similar issues today.