FYI Network problems – Net Split

N.B. This note appeared two days after the problem started, and one hour before it was resolved. it didn’t appear on the main status page which read ‘green light’ during the entire outage, but in the My Status page (login required).

Just a note for the Aussie readers: there’s been a problem on the ‘net for the last 24 or so hours. We can reach some pages but not others. It seems to be a problem with Telstra POIs. I’ve been on the phone with Telstra BigPond cable but besides the usual – restart router etc – they are at a loss. Nothing on the Service Status page about the problem. Apparently it’s not actually Telstra but their service provider…

There’s quite a discussion, in fact heaps on Whirlpool.net.au – I posted when the problem first occurred (about page 4 of default views) regarding tracert logs and possible DNS problem. (Some people claim that changing to the Optus DNS fixed problems – but it didn’t for me). Some people claim that taking out the www (www.example.com) and making it just example.com works. There’s oodles of peer support – use CGI Proxy to get around the problem, how to change DNS defaults, how to ping, log tracert, everything. A shoulder to cry on when you can’t get into World of Warcraft/Vanguard/Sunday night poker game online.

In all likelihood its a problem with reach.com. Reach.com :

REACH is the premier provider of international voice and satellite services in Asia. We also deliver the international service requirements of two of the largest established carriers in Asia (PCCW and Telstra) via the operation and management of the most diverse high-speed network in the region.

REACH has interests in more than 40 submarine cables (including AJC, APCN2, China-US, Japan-US, RNAL, Sea-Me-We 3) and international satellite systems. In addition, it has landing rights, backhaul, operating licences and bilateral agreements in most major markets that allow us to offer our customers a diverse range of connectivity options within Asia and beyond.

The REACH network stretches over 364,000 km around the globe, with nearly half of our traffic terminating at our major hubs in Hong Kong and Australia.

We have established commercial relationships with more than 400 carriers across the globe, facilitating access to more than 240 countries and territories. One of the cornerstones of REACH’s success is the reliability of our global network. We have built strategically located world-class operations centres where we monitor and manage our customers’ traffic flows 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

… or not. Anwyay, if you’ve been able to do a search on google.com but can’t click through to any of the sites, it’s a known issue. Known by the gurus on whirlpool.net.au anyway. The poor munchkins on Telstra’s Happy Easter Holiday HelpDesk don’t have a clue. Which brings me to the social networks point – why on earth aren’t Telstra participating in this discussion? Support costs are dropped to 1/5th if you allow peer2peer support. Plus your customer service staff have a happier Easter Sunday. I know that I check the page every few hours instead of ringing Telstra back up to ask “is it fixed yet?”. And to the people who tell me that Whirlpool is full of abuse and anti-marketing, it’s simply not true. There were a few one-liners in large posts about Telstra not making a statement, but in general Telstra’s lack of communication on the issue was ignored. This was the most damaging post that I saw (and it’s not that bad):

Come on Telstra, pull your finger out and give us an explanation! Somewhere within your network operations centre is someone you’re in contact with who knows more than the poor sap in the call centre. Switching off my PC and clearing my cache is really pathetic guys…are you afraid to tell us you’re waiting on a vendor to deliver new equipment? A little honesty will buy you more customers rather than lose them for complete lack of communication.

Now We Are Talking is all very well, if you want to counter the anti-marketing in the press, but who is listening to the technical boffins who every day make decisions for their clients about which service provider to use?

Sooooo, I’m back to reading Google extracts. At least search works.:)

PS Seems there have been a number of D.O.S. attacks in the States (Denial of Service). Compare Dreamhost using an outage blog to communicate with their customer over the two days its been going on to the screenshot(above) that Telstra posted up about an hour before it was resolved. Note that such a blog gives your consumers the ability to fight on your behalf.

Laurel Papworth

Named by Forbes™ Magazine in the Top 50 Social Media Influencers globally, named Head of Industry, Social Media (Marketing Magazine™) and in the Power150 Media bloggers (AdAge™). CERT IV Training and Assessment certified trainer (Diplomas and Certificates etc) Adult Education. Laurel has manager Facebook Pages for Junior Masterchef, Idol, Big Brother etc. and have consulted on private online communities for banks Westpac, not for profits UNHCR & governments in SE Asia. Lecturer, social media, University of Sydney for 10 years and Laurel has 11,000 online students. Laurel Papworth personally connects to 6 million followers online and has taught around 100,000 people in the last 10 years how to be social media managers.

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