Aardvark Daily
Router Failure in US upsets some NZ Surfers
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5 May 1997

Xtra have responded to this story advising that during the time of the router problems, their US point of connectivity, GlobalOne did redirect traffic via their backup route "which while not as capacious, was certainly up and running".

This explains why, although the router problem appeared to have been in existance from Friday through to early Sunday, a measure of connectivity was available during that time.

A series of problems with a router in the USA caused problems for users of ISPs such as Xtra which obtain their sole international connectivity through Netway.

Reports indicate that the problems initially surfaced on Friday and weren't effectively repaired until late Saturday. This intermittently left tens of thousands of NZ Net users with little or no ability to connect to overseas sites for surfing or email purposes.

It appears that the US-end of the NetWay link involves GlobalOne, a US-based connectivity company. Attempts to check the status of Global One's service produce this page, which isn't very helpful. The date on this page is 1 November 1996 - so I guess they don't move to quickly over there - or monitoring the status of their network is not a high priority.

Aardvark will be contacting Xtra and other ISPs which rely solely on Netway today to find out whether they have plans to add some form of redundant backup connectivity. Gone are the days when it is reasonable for an ISP to offer a commercial-grade service without some kind of backup link across the void that separates NZ from the rest of the world. While the Net was once simply a tool for academics and recreational users, today it is fast becoming a critical component in the sales, marketing and administrative structures of many organisations. Outages of even a few hours can effectively cost real money and reputation.

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