During the course of today and over the next few days we've been doing some maintenance work on the University's fibre optic plant. These are the cables that interconnect buildings on campus, and provide telephone and network connectivity to those buildings.

The work is being undertaken by an external contractor who has been tasked with splicing (joining) a number of new cables on campus as part of our network renewal project. In most instances, these cables have recently been installed and are not currently in use. Nevertheless, the contractor will be working in close proximity to existing, live services and there is a potential for disruptions and network outages to occur.

Areas of the University that might be at risk during this work include:
  • all buildings hanging off Oriel dining hall
  • all buildings hanging off Hobson dining hall
  • all buildings hanging off Jan Smuts dining hall
  • all buildings hanging off Founders dining hall
  • all buildings hanging off St Mary's dining hall
  • Steve Biko Building
  • Library
  • all buildings hanging off Geography

Note that "hanging off" usually implies in close proximity to, not necessarily part of (for instance Livingstone House hangs off Jan Smuts dining hall, even though it is administratively part of Hobson Hall).

In some of these areas (particularly residences), it is likely that the work will involve network outages. Unfortunately it's impossible for us to schedule these or predict the exact timing -- the contractor is here from Durban and is trying to complete the work as quickly as possible. However, any outages that do occur are likely to be fairly short, lasting no more than an hour or two (and probably shorter). The work is being conducted during the vacation to minimise the disruption this might cause.