Slow international connectivity not our fault - TelstraClear

TelstraClear customers experienced slow international connectivity from 8am yesterday morning and through much of the day, but TelstraClear said it was not its fault.

Posts on Geekzone appeared at 8.26am, with others appearing from Christchurch and Wellington, reporting limited to no response when users attempted to load some international web pages. At NBR's Auckland office, which has a TelstraClear connection, 30 staff laboured with slow internet.

TelstraClear media relations manager Gary Bowering told NBR he had noticed the posts on Geekzone during the day but that the problem was outside Telstra's network, with its upstream supplier, Verizon International (the US company is a 10% shareholder in the Southern Cross Cable - New Zealand's only link to the outside world, 50% owned by Telecom. Verizon also acts as a Southern Cross wholesaler).

Mr Bowering said not all users would have experienced the problem for the same site, or at the same time, and users may have experienced intermittent problems with loading sites, since international traffic can take a number of routes.

TelstraClear tests showed its network was operating as expected.

"Once users were able to give us some of the sites they were having trouble with, we were able to do multiple tests on those multiple sites, tracing the routes the data took, until our technicians were able to replicate the problem.  From this we were able to find where in the route the data was being slowed," Mr Bowering said.

Mr Bowering said about six people had contacted the company and TelstraClear understood the problem had caused congestion for downloads which would have affected Telecom customers also.

However Telecom head of external media, Mark Watts said he was not aware of a problem, or any complaints, when NBR contacted him at yesterday.

Vodafone also reported no complaints or known issues, as did Orcon.

Mr Bowering said he was unable to comment on how many customers were affected since the problem was outside the network, but that the problem had occurred at around 4am Thursday morning.

"We are working with the upstream supplier to minimise the probability of a re-occurrence."

Mr Bowering said Verizon had fixed the problem quickly once notified, around 3.30pm Thursday afternoon. 

"We should point out that issues do occur from time-to-tim with the complex technology that runs the Internet and the services that run over it."

Verizon was contacted NBR but had no immediate comment.

Separately, Telecom blamed a 50% surge in line faults around Auckland and Northland on record rainfall.

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