Post-Christmas blues hit major ISPs, Lotto

Network outages were widespread once again over the Christmas-New Year period

Telecom and TelstraClear internet services suffered significant outages over the Christmas-New Year period.

Both faults related to internal equipment rather than transmission lines, but TelstraClear, in particular, was unwilling to confirm indications they may have been due to a software failure.

NZ Lotteries’ retail network also experienced problems last Monday.

TelstraClear’s cable and ADSL services went down for more than five hours on the morning of December 30. A spokesman would say only that it was “a routing issue” and would not elaborate. Recorded messages on TelstraClear’s help-line during the outage ascribed it to failure of the authentication processes by which the user is identified to the service.

“The routing engine was replaced,” says TelstraClear and its function is now being shared with three other routers “split geographically” to improve resilience. The outage chiefly affected international access, the spokesman says.

Xtra firmly attributes its near-24-hour outage, on January 10 and 11, to authentication. A spokesman says this was why it affected dialup users more seriously than ADSL users, as most of the latter would already have been logged on before the failure.

The outage is described as “a one-off incident which has now been resolved”.

NZ Lotteries says the failure of some of its retailer terminals to connect last Monday was “caused by a software upgrade installed overnight”.

Senior IT personnel, through a media liaison staffer, declined to say if Lotteries' glitch was an authentication problem or to give any further details, except to say that the problem has been fixed.

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Tags TelstraClearlotteriesxtraNetworking & Telecomms ID

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