TelOne, the government owned fixed line telephone and internet provider, has acknowledged that its internet was down for the better part of the morning. In an update sent out on Twitter and Facebook TelOne apologised for the downtime but didn’t offer any explanations for it.
TelOne sincerely apologises for the downtime experinced on our Internet service this morning. Service is now restored.
— Tel·One (@TelOneZW) July 6, 2016
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Several users of TelOne’s ADSL service reported that the government owned internet provider totally blacked out its internet service from about 7AM in the morning to about 11AM. Information we received from sources indicates that TelOne data centre had “power problem” hence the outage. The power problem, we are told, somehow coincided with WhatsApp outage on most internet networks around the same time.
Rumours circulating are that Government may have instructed the internet providers to block access to social media, and for operators that could not achieve this technically, to block all access to the whole internet. The Zimbabwean Government, through its ICT minister, Supa Mandiwanzira, has however denied any hand in the WhatsApp and internet outage.
As TelOne is the custodian of the country’s .zw internet domain space, a blackout of their data centre meant that Zimbabwe’s domains were not being advertised to the internet anymore. If such blackout had last longer there’s the possibility that websites on the .zw space (like this one you’re reading now), would have become unavailable to internet users outside the country. Our suspicion though is that this was not intentional, but more collateral in the data centre’s “power outage”.
We sought comment on these issues from TelOne via email (and we also called them) more than 3 hours ago and haven’t received a response yet. We will update if we hear back from them. A similar effort to get comment from from POTRAZ has not yielded anything.
TelOne has about 70,000 subscribers who rely on its ADSL internet service.
9 thoughts on “TelOne confirms internet outage. Apologises to customers”
mighty convenient they had an outage during the same time almost exactly
also i don’t buy it, there DNS servers came up via ZINX around 2 hours into the outage but not from wider internet – this strikes me more as a voluntarily not advertising routes via BGP for the duration rather than power issues – i also note that the leg that my diagnostics died on while telone was off air would have placed any such outage on the London side which would have been more than just telone affected (and yes no one else to my knowledge was affected in that datacenter because the previous hop was good)
Is it technically feasible for the Government to block the internet?
Yes, through the internet providers. Might not be able to block everything tho. E.g some “ilegal” Vsats not hubbed in Zimbabwe.
zim gvt can only block the net by powering off internet devices not by tech configs….
Where did you get that infor from? Line what Anthony said, all you need is to stop IGP from injecting routes into BGP or stop BGP peer routes advertising to your neighbour without tearing the relationship so that when you want to return internet, you just start advertising your routes again.
How can this be described in layman terms?
They can issue an order to ISPs who can block WhatsApp, there will be work around of course.
Tindo, in layman terms, it means Telone have full control of internet access from their network and they can turn it off and on when they want to or asked to
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