"We really need to build a resilient cable network to avoid losing more than a few emails routed by a single provider. This is a national issue, not a Telecom one."Featured comment
UPDATE / Jan 17: A fault on a Singapore-to-Perth cable that hit Telecom's Xtra email service will not be fixed for a month, Singtel spokesman Sonny Phua told NBR ONLINE late yesterday.
Telecom initially said there was a cut on the Sea-Me-We 3 cable, but later tip-toed away from its initial statement, saying the state of the cable could not be ascertained until a repair ship arrived on the scene.
A cut is suspected but not confirmed, Mr Phua told NBR.
Contingency plan working, email backlog cleared - Telecom
Telecom spokeswoman Joanne Jalfon says contingency plans are now in effect: "The email backlog has cleared so the re-routing of our email traffic is working ... I understand Yahoo! will continue to use alternate cable routes until the Sea-We-Me 3 cable is repaired."
James Spenceley, CEO of Vocus, the company that manages Yahoo's bandwidth out of Sydney says the problem has nothing to do with his company, or Yahoo.
He told NBR ONLINE the problem was that Telecom had chosen not to peer (interconnect) with his company, instead sending its email traffic on a circuitous route to Yahoo in Sydney that took in the Singapore-Perth leg of the SMW3 cable.
SMW3 was developed, and is managed, by a consortium of partners Mr Phua said. The partners include Singtel, France Telecom Orange and China Telecom.
Deep-sea cable cut hits Telecom email – blame game starts
Jan 15: A cut in a deep-sea cable between Australia and Singapore is affecting Telecom Xtra customers, the company says.
Customers may be experiencing delays on the delivery of mail they have sent from their Xtra email addresses. There is no impact on the receiving of emails to xtra.co.nz accounts.
Telecom is advising customers to check with their email recipients if they are sending urgent communication and to resist resending emails as this could create congestion.
Telecom’s Xtra service provider, Yahoo's Sydney-based operation, utilises a submarine cable out of Perth to Singapore to transit some of its email traffic, Telecom says (an account disputed by Vocus, the company that handles Yahoo's bandwidth out of Australia; see comments below).
While cable repairs are underway, Yahoo has re-routed mail traffic away from the impacted cable and is working to clear the delayed email queues.
Telecom will continue to provide updates on its websites regarding expected service restoration but at this stage it is unlikely to be today, Telecom says.
Spokeswoman Joanne Jalfon told NBR ONLINE that Gen-i customers were not affected.
The cut occured on the Sea-Me-We-3 cable managed by Singtel.
Bandwidth wholesaler Vocus manages Yahoo's connectivity over the cable, Telecom says.
There seems to be room for better communication somewhere in the Singtel-Vocus-Yahoo-Telecom loop.
Telecom only learned of the problem after its own customers began to complain earlier today, Ms Jalfon says.
A Singtel spokeswoman answered NBR's call, but asked for questions by email, then passed the buck to a France Telecom Orange manager, who has yet to reply (France Telecom Orange and China Telecom lead the consortium of carriers that own the Singtel-managed cable).
Vocus boss: Telecom taking the long road
Vocus CEO James Spenceley told NBR his company does manage Yahoo's bandwidth out of Australia, but added that "Telecom choose not to peer with us".
Because there was no peering (or network interconnection arrangement) Telecom traffic took a circuitous route to Yahoo in Sydney, taking in the Singapore to Perth detour with the apparently cut cable.
Vocus was literally out of the loop in terms of the technical problem Telecom was experiencing with Sea-Me-We-3.