2009/06/24 - Intermittent Problem With Internet Access
Since last night, the university's connection to the Internet has been working intermittently -- many (mostly short) outages have occurred. This is most likely due to the high winds in Grahamstown. We've reported the problem to the TENET service desk and are awaiting feedback.

As a result, all users will be unable to browse the web or access other resources on the Internet at certain times. They will most likely experience this as an ERR_DNS_FAIL or ERR_CONNECT_FAIL error when trying to access web sites. E-mail that's sent or received now will be queued and delivered when Internet access is working.
We've just had an explanation for the intermittent Internet access problems we're experiencing. It seems that there's a fibre fault on Neotel's network, most likely between Grahamstown and Port Elizabeth. Their system automatically failed onto a protection circuit, and our connectivity is currently being provided by this circuit whilst they attempt to repair the original fibre.

The intermittent outages we're currently experiencing are the result of a secondary fault on the protection circuit. It seems that at least one leg of this circuit is served by a microwave link, and the microwave link is intermittently failing as a result of severe weather. Unfortunately Neotel are unable to rectify this fault as doing so requires that their staff climb a radio mast and current wind conditions mean that doing so is very dangerous. As a result, we'll continue to experience intermittent outages until such time as the primary, fibre-based circuit is repaired.

Fortunately our link appears to have been stable for the last hour or so. This means that either weather conditions have improved, or Neotel's fixed the primary circuit. We're still awaiting news as to which it is.