Dave's blog. Updates from Dave Carter, Head of MDDA.

Underground, overground, wobbling freely: Manchester Internet out(r)age

Loads of people have been in touch this week to see if we know why many parts of the city centre lost all Internet connectivity for more than 24 hours last Thursday and Friday. You’d think that something like this happening would create a major news story, locally at least. So far we’ve not been able to find any public admission of what went wrong but this is what our own internal sources reveal:

“BT have established that a junction box containing our connection has been flooded and damaged and are currently effecting a repair. The extent of the damage has been assessed and is now known to be affecting a large number of organisations around the city, not just the Council, and has been escalated to the highest priority within BT. The ICT Service is also engaging with another partner to establish a potential alternate connection to the internet.  Who is affected? – Anyone accessing the Internet, CAG and VPN users, external emails, Blackberry users.   What is the impact? – Any service requiring a connection to the Internet is currently unavailable.”

We’d have thought that after the fire in the BT tunnels a decade ago which wiped out Internet connections across the city for days that things would have improved, especially when we are told that there is “more than enough” fibre throughout the city to provide the resilience that we want. Well the reality seems to be rather different and all the more reason for encouraging multiple open access networks to develop to meet the 21st century needs of a 21st century city.

Posted on: April 1, 2011.