Web hosting outage

A website on our secondary hosting server was compromised today in a way that caused the site to consume all available disk space.  This affected web page access and e-mail access for all sites on the server.

We have been addressing the issue for most of the morning. Web and e-mail service should now be restored for all affected hosted sites.  Please call us at (530) 478-9822 if your Spiral-hosted website is still experiencing problems.

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Dial-up service outage (cleared)

As of Wednesday morning, Jan. 20, dial-up customers are unable to place calls to our provided dial-up access numbers.  Picking up the phone and calling one of those numbers manually results in hearing an “all circuits are busy” or “this call cannot be completed” message.

This has been confirmed as an outage with our upstream provider, who is currently working to restore access to those modem pools statewide.  As of 10 AM we do not have an ETR on the issue but are closely monitoring it for progress.

Edit: As of 12:30 p.m. our upstream provider has cleared the outage.

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The downside of a white Christmas

Heavy snowstorms are forecast for Dec. 24-25 throughout our county — and where there’s snow, there’s often downed power and phone lines.

It’s impossible to predict what sort of outages our Christmas storm might cause, but due to the aging infrastructure here in rural California, there’s a good chance that this storm might knock out the Internet connection of hundreds, or thousands, of residents. Please rest assured that we’re monitoring for these issues … unfortunately, our ability to address them is limited, as the DSL service that we provide is delivered through lines owned by AT&T, and any outages caused by physical damage must be repaired by AT&T themselves.

If a weather-related outage disrupts BOTH your Spiral DSL AND your AT&T phone line, contact AT&T’s 24-hour support at 1-800-288-2020 and report the telephone issue; in almost all cases, this will result in the speediest repair of both services as they address the physical damage.  (Spiral can report DSL issues for dispatch of a DSL technician, but if the damage affects telephone service as well, often they will need to leave and reschedule the repair with a wiring technician.)

If your telephone service is working well and your Internet is down, we will do our best to address it in a timely fashion.  Call our office at (530) 478-9822 and leave us a message with details.

Please note that, in order to let our staff spend holiday time with their families, we are closing our office for Thursday 12/24 and Friday 12/25. However, we will monitor our voicemail to address urgent issues. (Standard tech support, billing, and new service inquiries will be handled Monday 12/28 when we return to the office.)  Give us a call at any time at (530) 478-9822 in order to leave us a message.

Have a wonderful (and safe) white Christmas, and an equally great holiday season!

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Nevada County DSL outage

We’ve received many reports today of DSL connection problems from Spiral customers around Nevada County. Symptoms include the DSL modem showing a connection, but computers not being able to access web pages or internet content. We are investigating this as a potential area-wide outage and coordinating our investigations with our upstream providers.

Please be patient: due to high call volume, if you call our office you may not be able to speak to a technician right away, but we are addressing the issue as quickly as possible.

As of 11:45 AM, the problem with at least some of the affected customers has been traced to a DNS issue and we are working on our DNS servers to address the problem.

Update: As of approx. 12:15 pm, the DNS issue should be cleared.

Update: There appears to be a second issue related to downed lines yesterday in the Nevada City area.  AT&T has already worked on those repairs, and for affected customers the current solution is to reset your DSL circuit by turning your modem off and on.  Please call our office at (530) 478-9822 if that does not restore your service, as we might need to perform a circuit rebuild while your DSL modem is turned off.

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On the road to fiber

After several long years, the California PUC has just voted to fund our grant application for Zone A of our Nevada County fiber optic project.  We cannot put into words how excited we are to be bringing next-generation speeds to Nevada County, and to be building our own rock-solid infrastructure that we can rely on rather than AT&T’s aging phone lines.

The next few years will see some major changes.  To see project maps for current and future fiber deployment, and to register your interest, go to spiral.com/fiber and enter your street address.  Also be sure to check out our Nevada County broadband issues blog at www.NevadaCountyConnected.com.

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AT&T outage cleared

We have received confirmation from the phone company that this weekend’s outage affecting Nevada City area DSL and phone lines has been cleared.

If your DSL service is not yet working, power-cycle your DSL modem (unplug its electrical cord, and once its lights are off, plug it back in).  If that doesn’t fix your problem, give our office a call at (530) 478-9822, Ext. 1 for customer support.

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Update on minor AT&T DSL outage

Some of our DSL customers are still experiencing Internet service that is unavailable. We were told that AT&T was dispatching a repair truck sometime today (Sat July 4) between 4pm and 8pm. This is no guarantee that service will become available again. When the service is eventually turned on, you will need to unplug and re-plug the power cord (and only the power cord) on your modem. If all the lights turn green again, you’re good to go. If not, that means that service is still unavailable. You will want to test this at a later time as AT&T does not notify us when circuits are back up. Because that is how AT&T chooses to communicate, by not doing so at all. Please be patient and, above all, enjoy the 4th of July holiday; being aware that there is a high fire danger.

UPDATE: Based on customer conversations and the geographic distributions of affected customers, it looks like the outage may be related to a fire in the North San Juan area on Thursday night 7/2.  We are hearing reports from affected customers that phone service was restored in various areas either Friday 7/3 or Saturday 7/4 (some say phone service was not interrupted at all), but DSL remains down for all affected.  However, AT&T has identified circuits as far away as the Banner Mountain area as affected by the known outage.

AT&T’s maintenance operations center is closed on Sundays (though their field techs will continue to work on this issue), and so we do not anticipate having any further updates on their repairs until Monday morning.

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Minor AT&T DSL outage

On Friday July 3 during the day,  a number of customers called in with reports of DSL service being unavailable. We determined though our wholesale reseller that indeed there was a minor AT&T DSL outage in parts of western Nevada County. The best thing to do if you don’t have service, is to unplug and re-plug the power cord of your modem. If service has been restored, then all your lights will return to green and you’ll be back on the Internet. If not, you’ll have to try again at a later time. Unfortunately, its not like AT&T calls us with these outages, then tells us when service will be restored. We know this makes your crazy, as it does us. Please be patient, and above all, enjoy the 4th of July holiday. Please drive safely.

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Outbound mail server update

Earlier this year, we identified a spam filtering problem on AT&T’s end causing mail to be rejected when sending to pacbell.net and prodigy.net e-mail addresses (and only to those addresses) from our NCCN.net mail server.

Extensive, multi-month efforts to resolve the problem via AT&T and third-party correspondence were unsuccessful, so we have deployed a new outbound e-mail server.  After testing to make certain that it is not blocked at AT&T’s end (nor elsewhere), we have transitioned to sending all NCCN outbound e-mail through the new server.  This has fixed the spam filtering issue, and also adds additional capacity and redundancy to our email services.

No changes should be necessary to your e-mail settings.  If you are now having trouble sending outbound e-mail for your NCCN.net address, verify that your outbound mail server is smtp.nccn.net.  You can also call us at (530) 478-9822, Ext. 1, to troubleshoot connection problems.

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NCCN.net mail delivery delays

On Tuesday evening, April 28, the server handling mail for NCCN.net developed network issues that prevented new inbound messages from reaching their mailboxes.  Customer access to those mailboxes was not affected, so customers continued to see their existing e-mail but were not receiving anything new.

The problem has been resolved as of 10 AM Wednesday, April 29.  Inbound messages received during that time period were queued in our spam filtering server, and that backlog is being processed for delivery.

No messages should be lost, but it may take several hours to finish processing the backlog. If you were expecting e-mail to arrive during the affected hours and it has not been delivered by 3 PM Wednesday, April 29, give our office a call at (530) 478-9822, Ext. 1 for technical support.

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