2009/03/16 - Scheduled (emergency) Internet Outage
We've just received notification from Neotel that there'll be scheduled, emergency maintenance affecting our Internet access on Monday 16 March. The outage will commence at 08:00 and should be completed by 14:00.

During the outage all users will be unable to browse the web or access other resources on the Internet. They will most likely experience this as an ERR_DNS_FAIL or ERR_CONNECT_FAIL error when trying to access affected web sites. E-mail that's sent or received during the outage will be queued, and will be delivered once Internet access restored.

Whilst the notice is unfortunately short, you're strongly advised to plan around this outage where possible.

The background behind this outage is that Eskom will be undertaking emergency maintenance of 200kV power line at Grassridge substation by Coega. Eskom have constructed a 400kV line crossing the 200kV line near the Grassridge sub station where Infraco's fibre is strung and have not allowed sufficient clearance between the 400kV conductor and the 200kV earth wire, hence the earth wire has to be cut and an OPGW section strung under the 220kV conductor as a 'quick fix'. This entails cutting the fibre optic that connects Grahamstown to Port Elizabeth.

Contractually Rhodes can refuse to accept scheduled maintenance outside of the agreed maintenance period. We're advised, however, that doing so could cause a major and prolonged electrical outage in the Eastern Cape (including Grahamstown). We've thus chosen the better of the two evils.

There will be a second outage during a normal maintenance window (22 March, 7AM-5PM) to permanently resolve this issue.
Early on Sunday morning (15 March) we had an unscheduled scheduled outage (unscheduled in the sense we weren't informed of it; scheduled in the sense that it was planned and intentional). This was as a result of Eskom bringing forward the maintenance work on the 200kV power line at Grassridge, and the consequent fibre optic break, without timeously informing the affected parties.

As a result of this, we're informed that the emergency maintenance work scheduled for 8AM-2PM on Monday 16 March has now been cancelled.