Thursday, June 29, 2006

Telkom worse than a nuclear attack?

I have often heard it said that the internet was supposed to be a network that could withstand a nuclear attack. Well, if it is, then the good people at Telkom haven't got the message yet. Every time something goes wrong with the ADSL backbone or our international connectivity, they say something like "a router is faulty" or "a cable was dug up or stolen".
So my question is: How can a stolen cable or a faulty router bring down an entire national network? Is the ADSL backbone really designed like a LAN, with no redundancy or fall-over plan?
This week it was a router at the New Doornfontein exchange. Well, surely, the only connection to Richards Bay is not via New Doornfontein? Surely there is also a link from Durban, Nelspruit, and perhaps even Pietermaritzburg? So if I am sitting in Johannesburg and I can't connect to Richards Bay via New Doornfontein, but I can connect to Durban, then surely the network can send my data via Durban?
That's what in theory is supposed to occur. On the fly. But then I'm sure the guys at SAIX haven't designed it that way, or the routers they use can't do that. I wonder if the SNO will get it right? If they do, they're going to make a lot of money.

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