iiNet's NSW users experience service dropout

iiNet ADSL and dial-up customers in Sydney and regional NSW were unable to connect to the Internet Monday morning following an unidentified technical fault with the ISP's network.

An initial announcement was made on the ISP's network status Web page at 8.51am today reporting ADSL customers in Sydney and regional NSW were experiencing issues with their connection which left them unable to reconnect to the iiNet service.

According to the report, filed as fault number 6130, the network outage commenced at 8.46am this morning. The report stated iiNet technicians were investigating the causes of the service dropout. The report was classified as "category 2 - serious".

A second report, issued five minutes later, stated that the issue has been found to also be affecting dial-up customers connecting in NSW.

"Initial investigations have found that problem appears related to upstream bandwidth connectivity. Investigations are continuing and further updates will be made within one hour," the second report stated.

The most recent report, posted at 9.10am, informed customers upstream bandwidth to clients in NSW had been restored - making the network outage just under 30 minutes in duration.

Despite the short duration of the fault, one Whirlpool broadband forum participant said they were without access to the Internet until 11.07am. Another participant said they were still waiting for their service to be reconnected at 11.30am.

The most recent iiNet report suggests those clients who are still experiencing issues with connecting should "power cycle their equipment and attempt to reconnect prior to contacting iiNet Support".

"Investigations are continuing with iiNet's upstream providers as to the causes of the issue, and further updates in relation to the matter will be made within four hours (by 1.10pm)," the report states.

The service fault is the second reported by the ISP across its ADSL service in NSW in the past few days, and the third over the past week.

A serious fault with the Western Australian-based ADSL network was discovered on 5 October, which has resulted in several dropouts and disruptions to the service continuing through to today. As a result of the problems, iiNet was also forced to block the ability for its DSL clients in WA to send ICMP echo packets (which allows users to "ping" other hosts on the Internet).

The network outages experienced across the WA service were initially blamed by the ISP on an "unusually high cpu load" across "one of iiNet's core routers". However, after consulting hardware supplier Cisco, the ISP later stated the root cause of the problem was in fact "a small proportion of clients who are currently infected with the W32.Welchia virus (also known as the 'Nachi Worm')".

"Clients known to be infected by the Welchia / Nachi virus are being contacted on an individual basis, in order to ensure the situation does not re-occur," the report states.

IiNet says it expects to restore the ability to send ICMP echo packets to WA ADSL users by the end of today.

On 11 October, iiNet also posted a report to its online network status page stating server timeouts were being experienced by iiNet ADSL customers in NSW. iiNet technicians put the fault down to a brief LNS (L2TP network server) router timeout. The fault was classified as a minor issue, although iiNet would continue to monitor the LNS router through to Monday, the report stated.

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Nadia Cameron

Nadia Cameron

PC World
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