[Greennet-l] BT line failure and new faster line upgrade

GreenNet User Support support at gn.apc.org
Fri Feb 23 15:13:23 GMT 2001

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We are very sorry about the difficulties that you have experienced
with our service since Monday.  They were caused by a number of things.
Firstly we had some upgrade work done by UUNet to our high speed Internet
connection as a prelude to a capacity upgrade.  The necessary
configuration changes took longer than anticipated and caused disruption
to a minority of our users.

The second and larger problem started at 3pm on Tuesday when a 'High Order
Failure' at the BT exchange we are connected to caused us to suffer a
total loss of connectivity.  We believe that the failure was caused by an
essential piece of BT's hardware malfunctioning.  This lasted until about
midday on Wednesday and left the service very slow all of Wednesday
afternoon whilst our servers coped with a huge backlog of data.  On
Wednesday evening at 6pm the line went down again until 8.30am on Thursday
morning.  Again, the service was very slow until about midday and got back
to normal by mid afternoon.  Both of these long outages were caused by the
BT hardware failure.

We are sorry that we it wasn't possible to announce any information about
what was going on this was for a number of reasons.
i) We did not want to make an announcement until normal service had been
ii) Our usual method of communicating information to you would be by
e-mail and you wouldn't have been able to collect it and also it would
have burdened our servers with more work.  We wanted to make sure that you
got your regular e-mails as soon as possible.
iii) It would have been impossible to call you all.

We will take the matter up with BT and UUnet and we will push to be put on
some kind of other system that has some kind of redundancy or bypass
system that will allow us to maintain a normal service should this happen
again.  This also affected about 50-100 other businesses in the N1 area.

We do have some good news though.  The new line is twice the speed of the
old one.  We made the upgrade to increase capacity and to speed up our
services.  We hope that you have already noticed the benefits of faster
incoming e-mail.  This upgrade will significantly reduce the congestion
that we were suffering from at peak times and because of the nature of the
line, extra capacity can be added very easily in future.

Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience that you have suffered
and we hope that something of this magnitude can be avoided in future.
Due to our (and everyone else's) dependence on BT that can never be
totally guaranteed but we will do all we can to put redundancy
measures in to lessen the effect.

Best Wishes

Phil Carr

For the GreenNet collective
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