The longest 2 1/2 days of my life

You don't realise how dependent you are on the Internet until it is no longer there!

All weekend, our connection to the Internet was running a little sluggishly. I just put it down to maintenance - either by my ISP (BT Openworld) or the websites I was visiting. Monday morning came, and I started to catch up with my work email, and it got slower and slower before finally stopping altogether.

In the past, when this has happened, I've been able to clear it by resetting (ie power-cycling) the broadband router, so this is what I attempted to do. In doing this, the router should pick up a new IP address at the POP and with a bit of luck we'd be on our way at full speed (1Mbps) again. Unfortunately, that's where my luck ran out!

I left the router powered off for around 5 minutes whilst I did some other work. Then, flicked the switch on the back to power it on again. Nothing happened :( When I switched it off again, the power LED flashed momentarily, along with the activity light on the port on my firewall/switch which is connected to the router.

Now, this has happened before - a few weeks ago in fact, and that time I simply flicked the switch again and it sprang back into life. Not so this time. Lots of rocking the switch back and forth elicited no response from the router. It was as dead as a Norwegian Blue :(.

I phoned BT immediately, and they managed to schedule me in for an engineer visit today (Wednesday) - between 10:30am and 1pm. When I asked if they could just get an engineer to drop off a new router for me, the answer was that they couldn't speak to the engineers, only schedule their time!!!

So here I am, writing this after 2 days without any form of Internet connectivity. Even my wife and kids are feeling lost without access to email, MSN, stock prices and the shopping sites.

One of the things which surprised my most about this little outage is that Sun do not have any kind of SLA (Service Level Agreement) with BT for those of us who work from home full time. I would have thought it would be in Sun's interest to have an agreement to expedite repairs and minimise downtime, but obviously they figure that I could always go to my nearest office to do some work. Well, I could, but for me that is a 1.5hr drive each way, so it would be quicker and easier to visit an Internet cafe just to catch up. In the end though, as I've mentioned, I've had enough work to keep me busy without having to resort to that. Fortunately, I'd just come to the end of an important phase of our project, so my work hasn't been unduly affected. I've managed to catch up on some documentation tasks for TOI's to our new sustaining group, which I'd probably have taken a week to do otherwise. I also have a team-mate in Leeds who calls regularly to keep me up-to-date with anything important.

Having had connectivity restored, I am disappointed to find that nobody desperately needed me, and the world hadn't, in fact, stopped turning just because I was "down" for over 2 days :(

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