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.