More than two weeks later, many of these broadcasters are still without subtitles. The BBC is rumoured to be using AI-generated subtitles as a stopgap measure but Channels 4 and 5 have nothing. Subtitles are essential for Deaf people and those who are hard of hearing to follow programmes, and millions of other people use subtitles for a multitude of reasons. If the sound had been lost there would be a national outcry yet the only place I've seen any continued coverage of this story is in the Deaf press.Sources said that smoke was detected at a Red Bee server centre in west London, activating a fire suppression system that sucked all the oxygen out of the room. However, the safety measure also triggered a “sonic wave” that shut down servers, according to those familiar with the matter. Firefighters were called and staff were evacuated from the building in White City.
Red Bee have said they "are sorry for the disruption" but have not given any sort of timeframe for how long it will be before they've fixed the problems and started providing subtitles again. Ofcom have said the loss of subtitles is "unacceptable" but are just monitoring the situation.
It really shows just how little regard is actually given to accessibility, for all the talk. A single incident shouldn't be able to kill subtitles to multiple national broadcasters for weeks on end with no-one either willing or able to even give an estimate of how long it will be before the issue is fixed.
ETA: If anyone is d/Deaf and has been affected, or knows anyone, then journalist Hannah May would be interested in talking to you for an article she's writing on this situation.