For the last few days we’ve been on-and-off cut off from the outside world. No mobile network, internet or even landlines.

This has happened once before but only for an afternoon. As I did then I assumed this was the preliminary stages of an alien invasion or Zombie Apocalypse. We are a small town in the middle of nowhere and if Hollywood has taught me anything it’s that when all lines of communication are cut expect trouble.

In fact I think it was just a problem with the wet string connecting us to the world; it must have been either not wet enough or (given the rains are here now) maybe just too wet.

Here is a graph showing connectivity from our work network to google (generated by some particularly shady piece of network monitoring software):

FreeNATS image showing connectivity to google from Opuwo MoHSS

(Click for detailed version)

It shows connectivity to google from 0:00 on Tuesday to 17:00 on Thursday. Red is bad. Note the brief return in the day on Wednesday allowing me to send text messages from a neverending meeting and again at 3am on Thursday waking me up as text messages from the world came flooding (well, trickling) in.

As a real-life Business Continuity exercise it proved that most of our systems continue to work during a link failure. Apart from our Active Directory which should but, for some reason doesn’t. Nevermind though; use of local accounts and the like got round most problems if not all.

We did send out some messenger goats but never heard back. Luckily, and avoiding riot, Tafel supplies remained high at all times.

Mainly people were just upset they couldn’t access their facebook and blamed me entirely until I pointed out that even my inept systems management probably couldn’t take down the mobile network. Probably.

Challenge Accepted!

Whoops: Spoke too soon. Just as I was writing this it all went off again for 90 minutes. Hmm…. New string methinks.


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