Tumbling trees topple TradeMe

Domainz also hit by 'serious' outage

The recent foul weather in Wellington hit Internet businesses as well, as trees came down and broke a section of TelstraClear's fibre-optic cable in the Seatoun suburb.

Among the affected were customers using AT&T as an ISP over CityLink. This includes well-known domain registrar Domainz and popular online auction site TradeMe.

Sam Morgan, managing director of TradeMe, says the outage affected between a half and two-thirds of TradeMe customers. TradeMe had problems for about six hours, Morgan says, but he declined to give a dollar figure for the loss incurred. “We lost six hours’ worth of revenue, which is serious for an internet business,” Morgan says.

TelstraClear’s corporate communications manager Ralph Little says the fault primarily affected cable modem and cable television customers in the Miramar and Berhampore areas of Wellington. Contractors were dispatched to work on the cable, Little says, and TelstraClear expected the fault to be rectified by 7pm last night.

Last night an industry source said most of the cable modem users south of Petone were “still off the air” and that the fibre break took down the AT&T network in Wellington.

TradeMe’s Morgan says that his company is working with its ISP, AT&T, to build failover capability so as to avoid incidents like the current one in the future. He says the fault affected TradeMe customers who were not coming through the Wellington Internet Exchange.

Morgan adds that the fault — a single fibre circuit being severed — was a good example of how universal peering could benefit internet businesses. “A ‘route-rich’ New Zealand internet is able to survive points of failure like these without interruptions,” he says.

The outage struck Domainz at about 11am yesterday, says IT manager Tim John. He thinks connectivity was restored at roughly 3.30pm, but says it was done through re-routing the network rather than repairing the broken link.

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