2005/05/06 Scheduled Internet Outage 08:00 - 10:00
TENET, the University's Internet service provider, have just informed us that Telkom will be undertaking scheduled maintenance work on the circuits that provide the University with Internet Access. This work will take place between 08:00 and 10:00 on Friday 6th May 2005 and, as a result, the University will be without access to the Internet during this period.

This means that you won't be able to browse external web sites, use instant messenger programs, download files or do anything else that requires Internet access. Any e-mail you send during the outage will be queued by our mail servers and delivered once connectivity is restored. In the same way, incoming e-mail will be queued by remote mail servers.

You are strongly encouraged to plan around this scheduled outage.

During this maintenance period, Telkom are planning to re-attempt the GEN2 upgrade that failed on the 18th of April. Since that time they'vesuccessfully upgraded several other sites and we're hoping that this time around they'll be more successful.

Updates and further information about this outage will be posted to the I.T. Division noticeboard which is available at
While the upgrade itself went reasonably smoothly, it appears that Telkom have made an error in the configuration of our new service. While they've configured the national and international portions of our bandwidth correctly, they've configured our total bandwidth to be just under 1Mbps below what it should have been.

This means that users may have experienced slow responses from external sites during the course of today.

In addition, because the ratios of bandwidth are now incorrect, users of the shared library service hosted at Rhodes have been experiencing difficulting in accessing the service. As this affects libraries across the Eastern Cape, we're going to try and prioritise the bandwidth we do have to allow them to continue operating. In order to do this, we're going to throttle Rhodes' bandwidth use back from the 5.6Mbps we're currently using to around 5Mbps, leaving the remaining 0.6Mbps available for use by the library service.

This means that its likely that response times to external sites will get worse than they've been.

We're waiting from some indication from Telkom as to how long its going to take them to fix this problem, but it is likely that we're going to have to live with it for at least the weekend. We're led to believe that this is a non-trival mistake to rectify and it may take them some time, possibly extending into next week.