2011/02/19 - Unscheduled Internet Outage
About fifteen minutes ago, we lost all access to the Internet for reasons as yet unknown.

You will likely experience this outage as an ERR_DNS_FAIL or ERR_CONNECT_FAIL error when trying to access websites. When accessing secure (https://) web sites, your browser may report that the connection has timed out or the site is unreachable.

The issue has been reported to TENET's service desk.
We've been notified of a possible fibre break between Eskom Park and Gelaksplaas. A technician is due to arrive at the location of the break shortly.
We've just contacted the service desk again to ask them to request feedback from Neotel.
At least part of the reason there's been such sketchy information during the last three network outages seems related to the fact that Neotel's network operations centre has been taken over by their parent company, Tata Communications, and relocated to Tata's global IPNOC in India. Having dealt with the new India-based NOC first-hand, they seem to have a poor knowledge of, amongst other things, the geography of South Africa and the layout of Neotel's network. There are also some language barriers. This frustrates attempts to report and diagnose problems, both for us and for TENET's service desk.

I've asked TENET's service manager to take this issue up with Neotel on Monday morning.
There's now a reported break between Grassridge (Coega) and Posidon (Cookhouse), which Infraco is attending to. These are both in the Eastern Cape and between Grahamstown and Port Elizabeth (unlike Eskom Park which is in Witbank), so it seems likely that Neotel have now actually found the real problem.
Infraco's technician has patched the Grassridge side onto a different fibre optic pair, and is on his way to Posidon to do the same on the other side. We're told he's about half an hour away (they're ~ 120km apart).

TENET's service desk have escalated this matter several times already, and we've recently asked TENET's service manager to escalate it beyond the service desk's ability.
We've just been told that they've finished switching over the fibre pair at Posidon, but unfortunately it has not resolved the problem. Infraco's technician is investigating further.
We've been told that at around 11 PM, a technician arrived at the site of the fibre break, and our monitoring systems report that service was restored at approximately midnight. We'd have to presume that he was able to splice the break to repair it.