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July 8, 2004

Network Outage in Boston (manhole fire burns fiber)

Yesterday evening around 6pm a fire in a manhole somewhere in Boston badly damaged the fiber feeding the gigabit internet connection to the Boston campus of Tufts University. I was at work when the connectivity dropped, left thinking it was some small interruption. Didn't think that when I got back to the office this morning that the outage would be wreaking havoc on everyone's work-day.

We had a nice lunch, a staff meeting and then everyone went home. Since our servers live in a datacenter in Somerville, MA the best bet for connectivity was to go home.

After 24-hours of downtime the word was that the appropriate people were still not able to get into the manhole due to fumes, heat and hazards with live electricity.

Just checking now it looks like NOC has figured out a way to get a T1 connection up via an alternate route. Bummer . . . I was hoping tomorrow would be a forced stay-at-home day.

July 9 Update: The temporary pipe to the office is being heavily guarded, only limited traffic allowed through, which doesn't seem to include ssh. Even if it did, the pipe for the entire campus is 1.4 Mb, about the same as my cable modem's downspeed. Looks like I'll be more productive working from home until the problem is resolved (technicians are now scheduled to get into the manhole this afternoon).

Posted by mike at July 8, 2004 10:06 PM