2008/10/05 - Unscheduled Internet Outage
Shortly before 7.15AM this morning the University lost its access to the Internet. As a result, users at Rhodes will be unable to access external web sites.

The fault that's causing this is also affecting another eleven higher educational sites in the Eastern & Western Cape. TENET's service desk were aware of the problem before we contacted them, and are currently investigating the matter.
I've just got a status update from TENET's service desk. Currently the only sites affected by this outage are ourselves and the Water Research Commission.

Apparently Neotel are doing some sort of "scheduled" maintenance work starting at 7.30AM and that they anticipate will be completed "by 5PM". Unfortunately they did not notify TENET, the service desk, or ourselves about this maintenance. It is also outside of their scheduled maintenance window (00:00-06:00). This is in contravention of our service level agreement.

As a result I've escalated the matter to our service manager and asked that he raise this with Neotel's management. I've also asked that they restore service immediately, or as soon as possible thereafter.
According to Neotel they're currently working on Rhodes' local loop (i.e. between Port Elizabeth and our campus). As a result, they cannot re-route around the outage. We're also informed that it'll take longer for them to revert their changes than it will to finish the work they're doing.

As a result, it appears highly unlikely that we'll get access to the Internet back before 5PM. It's been suggested that this is the earliest we should expect access back.
Apparently the reason we weren't informed about this outage is that Neotel believed that the circuit they were working on was protected (i.e. had automatic fail-over to a redundant route). It was only after they cut through the fibre that they realised that the circuit was not protected.

We appear to have Internet access back at the moment. I'm lead to believe that that there could be further outages between now and 5PM, as they're still in the process of re-splicing the fibre optic.