Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Verizon outage

If you happened to catch the news for Andover MA (or Lawrence) you may have seen an article about a mattress fire under a bridge in Lawrence. As it turns out there is a conduit above where this mattress was that contains a whole bunch of fiber and copper wire.

This fiber and copper is used by Verizon (and apparently Sprint, AT&T and a few others) and when it burnt up cell coverage, phones, FiOS and even 911 were impacted. 

I don't know how everyone else configured their phone system, but when we ordered our phone lines we requested and were sold a "protected sonet ring". While I'm not the worlds best optical network engineer, my understanding was that a single cable break, or failed component would not cause an outage. Hmmm  Since my phones went down, and cell phone towers seemed to go down and supposedly 911 stopped working I think either I'm incorrect in what we actually got, or protected sonet is a myth.

That annoys me actually...

The other thing that annoyed me was the lack of notification. I mean in today's environment I should have been able to go to their web site and seen outages. I couldn't. 

I should be able to follow them on twitter and get updates. I couldn't, though I did get a response asking me to send them a direct message but by then I was on the ride home so I don't know what this would have done. They did respond fairly quickly when asked, but didn't seem very proactive.

I should have been able to open a ticket and get regular updates. No such luck. I did get updates but they were pretty few and far between. The local newspaper sent out a tweet last night around 4PM saying "next press release from Verizon will be 10AM" 16 hours later...

The lines did come back up and everything is good, but I need to give Verizon a D for support with  redundancy that didn't seem to work and not having timely updates. Hopefully either I'm just not using the support tools properly and there is a web page, twitter handle or phone number I don't know, or they will get better.

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