South Africa is offline [UPDATED]

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htxt has just learned that a major, nationwide outage struck all ADSL clients in South Africa, at 15h20 SAST, Friday the 7th of June.

A local ISP informed htxt that Telkom, the country’s fixed line operator, and Internet Solutions, have both confirmed that the ADSL clients were offline.

Internet Solutions sent out a notification to all internet service providers advising that the problem is national.

Investigating the cause of the outage, Internet Solutions connectivity executive Sean Nourse said, “We are aware of the national outage on DSL services.  Our DSL vendor is investigating and as soon as we know the root cause of the problem, or have an understanding of when it will be resolved, we’ll be able to share more information.”

Since then, it emerged from Telkom that the outage was caused by routine maintenance gone wrong. A low-risk routine caused all active ADSL sessions to be reset, dropping access for the entire country.

The servers that handle authentication requests were then overloaded by the whole country trying to reconnect. Overloaded, the servers were only able to authenticate access requests over a longer period of time, which users then experienced as the outage.

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Christo van Gemert

Christo van Gemert

Eleven years ago Christo started writing about technology for one of South Africa's (then) leading computer magazines. His first review? A Samsung LCD monitor. Hey, it was hot news, back then. Nowadays he gets more excited about photography, cars, game consoles, and faster internet connections. He's sort of an Apple fan, but will take any opportunity to remind you about his Windows-powered home theatre PC and desire to own a vanilla Android tablet.   Currently uses: Apple 13-inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display, Apple iPhone 5, Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000, Audiofly AF78 Earphones, Xbox 360, Nikon D50.