Telecom’s JetStream DSL network experienced yet more problems around the country last week.
The telco confirmed outages in Christchurch, Wellington and Auckland.
“There were intermittent outages affecting DSLAMs [multiplexers] in Riccarton, Courtenay Place and Mt Wellington/Penrose between 12.30 and 1.30 [last Wednesday],” says Telecom spokeswoman Mary Parker.
The problem was fixed within an hour, but 10 minutes after our Wellington reporter lost service, Telecom’s automated “ADSL status message” was still telling users there were no problems on the network.
Telecom then conceded there were problems for “some customers in the Auckland area”. But it took until the next change of message, 10 minutes later, for the telco to acknowledge that “some users in most parts of New Zealand may be experiencing problems in connecting”.
At Computerworld press time Parker said the root cause of the problem with several widely separated switches affected simultaneously had not been identified. The problem would have affected several hundred DSL users, she says.
It has not been a good couple of months for JetStream, with persistent complaints from many users of “micro-outages” of up to 20 seconds duration, in some case cutting off sessions and causing the loss of hours of work, and reports of unaccountable charged traffic on the network. Consultant Ian McTavish traced his to his children’s unwitting file uploads. Other users have had lengthy bounced email messages and spam activity chewing up the megabytes entirely out of their control.
Another Wellington user, who asks for anonymity, has reported JetStream traffic that seems to have no explanation. He says at the time some of the traffic was alleged to have gone through, he was asleep. There is one other user in the house, “but he uses it only during the day”.
Xtra “has most recently given me a nonsensical explanation about files that had been previously downloaded coming back again with the same file name”, he says. “Even assuming that could happen, there would be a record of the time the second file saved itself in my machine.”
The automated warning telephone messages about exceeding the 600MB monthly limit on his JetStream account have been arriving, but late, he says. “In one month, by the time I was warned, I’d used another 300MB.” McTavish claimed he never had any automated warnings.
Meanwhile, Telecom’s JetStream usage meter was out of action earlier this month. It took two days to repair the meter, although Parker says the company’s ability to bill users wasn’t affected.