Serious Network Outage on Orange Broadband

My broadband provider is Orange, Formally known as Wanadoo and before that Freeserve. For the most part they are ok. The service is an 8MB download, 256K upload. There are sometimes dropouts if the weather gets bad and I've seen the download speed throttle back to 6MB. Most of the time it just works.

Recently there have been a series of problems when logging on. Now I'm not being a good boy because I'm not using the supplied Speedtouch modem. Instead I'm using my own NetGear DG-834 router which while not against the rules is not exactly allowed! The good thing about this box is it will automatically retry and it reports issues in its own logs and into my Syslog server.

On Monday Orange suffered another in a line of failures. This one was serious as it took out some 60,000 customers for over 2 days. After constantly badgering both Technical Support and Customer services not only did I get this months fee wavered 'as a goodwill gesture' I was also told that the problem was the 'line to the password server' which I translated as meaning the network kit between the exchange (which is unbundled) and the RADIUS server. The obvious question is

  • Why didn't they fail over?
  • Why ISN'T there a fail over ability?

I'll be writing a formal complaint letter to Orange demanding a full explanation of the outage and asking for a copy of the investigation report. We shall see what they provide.

In the meantime I STRONGLY advise Orange customers who were affected by this outage to complain to Customer Services and demand a refund for the outage.

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