Important Announcements

Archive for 05-01-1997 to 07-31-1997

We will periodically send important information concerning your account to you via e-mail. If you are unable to read your mail or have any problems, please call us or visit our helpdesk.


Internet Doorway ONLY Development Area
Network Status Report


Tuesday, July 22

Jackson Area Dialup - Third Time a Charm

After more than a few days of the "busy signals, but free modems" scenario, Brooks and Bell have determined there are not enough remote call forward paths between the two telcos. An order was placed and will be filled tomorrow morning for these additional paths to our waiting modems. We are confident the telcos have established the root cause of the problem and have corrected it once and for all. Thank you for your patience during this confusing situation.

Sunday, July 20

internetMCI Provides Backup Connection

Due to the amount of difficulty we have had with our Internet gateway over the last week, our friends at MCI have provided us with a backup connection until we (actually, you!) are satisfied with the service level we can sustain. This addition was in response to the latest, although brief, outage around 4:00 AM Saturday. The backup trunk took many long hours of work by both NETDOOR and MCI technical personnel. Someone on the 4+ hour conference call exclaimed, "Even though this has taken some time to complete ... hopefully we will never need to use it." The redundant connection will be active within 90 seconds of a failure on the primary Net connection. As this is a temporary measure, we will continue to find a permanent backup connection from an alternative provider for the future.

News Service Stabilized

The news server (news.netdoor.com) is functioning normal as of midweek last week. We explored the possibility of outsourcing this troublesome service, but could not find a reliable alternative. Thanks to the many people that tested this service alternative for everyone. We will continue to monitor the server to ensure it remains a reliable NETDOOR service.

Starkville Equipment Arrives - What about Greenwood's?

The new equipment for the Starkville area arrives ... and just ahead of the students. A new U.S. Robotics x2 Digital Total Control Chassis will be on its' way on Tuesday and is scheduled for turn-up midweek. Although the student discounts are gone, our quake server is just three network hops and 20 milliseconds away!

The illusive U.S. Robotics Analog Total Control Chassis we have been searching for the past few weeks is still not available. We have contacted the VP of Sales for our region and will follow-up on this early in the week. We apologize for the upgrade delay due to this equipment shortage.

Thursday, July 17

Internet Gateway - 6:00 PM

The Internet gateway is up. We should have a full report in a few days and pass on any important details to you.

Again, we apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Internet Gateway Outage - 4:43 PM

At approximately 11:10 AM, our connection to the Internet through MCI went down. Since then, we have been in constant touch with them and have inquired numerous times as to the status of our connection. As of 2:00 PM, senior management personnel at MCI were notified and "took ownership" of the situation.

Unfortunately, the backup Internet connection discussed on this webpage a few weeks ago has not yet been implemented.

We will keep customers posted via this page as information becomes available.

Our thanks goes to all our customers, whose patience and tolerance throughout this period is greatly appreciated. If you have any questions, please e-mail support@netdoor.com.

Tuesday, July 15

Jackson Area Dialup - Free Modems, but Not Free Lines?

Even after the scheduled upgrade to the Jackson dialup facilities last week, we are still getting a few busy signals late at night due to capacity issues between BellSouth and Brooks Fiber. Brooks was a aware of this potential and scheduled an increase in the number of trunks between the two for Friday. The number of additional facilities is around 300 lines per conversations with our local contacts. In addition, we have moved Phase II of our planned upgrades (additional 48 lines) up a few weeks to ensure we can meet the high demand for our dialup Internet solution.

Hattiesburg Area Dialup

While you are sleeping, we will be completing Phase I of II facilities upgrades to this growing POP. Scheduled enhancements are more lines and more all digital U.S. Robotics x2 modems. As well, we may have a few seconds of disruption of service as we reterm several Ethernet devices to a new switch. Callers on the last bank of modems may be disconnected as well due to equipment upgrades in process.

Meridian Lines Order; Date to Follow

We finalized our order today for additional dialup facilities for our Meridian POP. Scheduled are more lines and more all digital x2 modems. We will be posting the scheduled install date as we work with Bell on these additions. Look for this "Important Announcement" sometime next week.

If you have any problems outside of this maintainence window or have any other questions or support needs, please feel free to email support@netdoor.com or call our 24 hour Technical Support Center at 800.952.1570.

Saturday, July 12

Software Upgrades in Progress

We will be updating several U.S. Robotics x2 chassis during the early morning hours this weekend. Some of the enhancements include "Quake lag" and performance updates for the terminal server and better compatibility and x2 line condition updates for the digital modems. During the software upgrade, we will be forced to terminate the current sessions of each device for up 15 minutes as the software is being loaded. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.

MCI Gateway Outage

There was a problem with the newly installed MCI gateway this morning from 12:10 AM to 2:16 AM. If you were online during this time, you could only reach sites directly connected to the NETDOOR network. MCI Internet management will be looking into the cause of this outage and determining exactly what went wrong so they can help prevent such events in the future.

If you have any questions concerning this maintenance window or any other support needs, please feel free to e-mail support@netdoor.com or call our 24 hour Technical Support Center at 800.952.1570.

Friday, July 11

MCI Gateway Conversion Complete

The scheduled gateway move with MCI went off without a hitch this morning due to the dilligent efforts of our internetMCI account team. The time from start to finish was under 3 minutes including a physical move of an MCI circuit and routing changes. Many thanks goes out to this group!

800 Service Provider Switch Replacement

Our 800 service provider CommuniGroup will be replacing a telco switch from 12:00 AM to 3:00 AM on Saturday, July 12. During this maintenance window, our 800 number will experience an outage of up to 30 minutes. If you are in need of technical assistance, please e-mail support@netdoor.com if possible or call back when the outage is complete. As we were notified of this outage on Thursday afternoon, providing a backup number was not available due to time constraints. We would like to thank you in advance for your understanding of this matter.

Jackson Area Dialup Increase Today

As mentioned on this page a few days ago, Brooks Fiber will be completing Phase I of II line upgrades today for our Jackson area dialup customers. We may have a few minutes of dialup connectivity problems as the new lines are being added to the hunt group. If you believe you are having connectivity related issues, please call our support team at 969.1434 for an update on the new facilities. Phase II of the facilities upgrade is scheduled for early August.

Wednesday, July 9

MCI Gateway Conversion

As mentioned a few weeks ago, MCI will be moving us away from a temperamental piece of equipment as suggested by their technical support personnel. The scheduled time of the move is 5:00 AM CST on Friday, July 11. The estimated time of the outage is under 15 minutes, with up to 30 minutes of routing instability following. As usual, we utilize the early morning hours for system maintenance whenever possible.

IRC System Maintenance

We will be upgrading the IRC server (irc.netdoor.com or jackson.ms.us.othernet.org) at 3:00 AM CST on Saturday, July 19. The scheduled downtime will be under 30 minutes as we perform the hardware upgrade. During this time, the local irc server will not allow connections. If you are in need of an IRC server connected to Othernet.org, please utilize one of the other servers on that network.

If you have any questions concerning this maintenance window or any other support needs, please feel free to e-mail support@netdoor.com or call our 24 hour Technical Support Center at 800.952.1570.

Monday, July 7

Facilities Upgrade Dates Announced

Due to several changes in the Internet market statewide, the increased demand for our dialup solution has been tremendous. We are working closely with our dial tone providers to meet the demand for our future customers and minimize the impact on current subscribers. Below is a schedule for facilities upgrades to our existing POPs:

Location Pending Line Orders
(90 Day Outlook)
Additional Comments First Phase Install Date
Jackson 96 All lines are USR x2 Digital Modems Friday, July 11
Hattiesburg 46 All lines are USR x2 Digital Modems Friday, July 18
Meridian 46 All lines are USR x2 Digital Modems TBA
Starkville 24 All lines are USR x2 Digital Modems Friday, August 1
Tupelo 23 All lines are USR x2 Digital Modems Wednesday, August 6
Greenwood 8 All to be replaced with USR 33.6k Analog Modems Waiting on Equipment
Carthage 8 Bandwidth Upgrade to Jackson TBA

We will be ordering additional Internet bandwidth in the coming weeks as well a backup connection. The backup will be through an alternative Internet backbone provider to ensure redundant routes should problems arise with the main connection.

As always, we appreciate your comments and patience during these high growth periods and try and inform you as to our plans and progress whenever possible.

Friday, July 4

Mars Pathfinder Lands!

For more information, please see Mars Pathfinder Home Page. Site includes links to live audio and video broadcasts from NASA Select TV.

Have a safe and happy 4th of July weekend.

Tuesday, June 24

Internet Gateway Replacement

At 5:00 AM, Wednesday, June 25, we will be replacing a problematic core router with a new one. The maintenance window is scheduled to be under 10 minutes from beginning to end. During the replacement period, you will not be able to connect to outside sites and may experience routing problems while the tables are being rebuilt.

If you experience any problems outside of this maintenance window, please e-mail support@netdoor.com or call our 24 hour support center at 800.952.1570.

Additional Dialup Facilities Ordered

In the coming weeks, we will be adding more dialup facilities to several POP's. This upgrade is in response to the great demand for an x2 capable Internet Service Provider (ISP) and the explosive growth of our dialup access solutions statewide. As always, we appreciate your comments and suggestions as this is the only way we can hope of becoming "Mississippi's ISP!TM".

Monday, June 23

Greenwood Modem Upgrade

We expect the final piece of hardware for our modem upgrade to arrive sometime this week. After we have it in hand, we will schedule a maintenance window to install the new bank of U.S. Robotics modems as mentioned last week.

New Mail Server Options

In order to enable ".forwards" (UNIX files that are used to forward mail to other systems), customers will need to fill out a secure webform as the mail server is on an entirely separate system from the shell account machine for performance, reliability and security reasons. The link to the webform can be found in the Member Services area at http://www.netdoor.com/memberservices/.

Jackson Area Dialup Information

In the past few weeks, several customers have mentioned a phone company message that indicates "All Circuits Busy." Our dial tone provider Brooks Fiber and BellSouth are looking into the situation to determine the cause of this intermittent message. More information will be announced as it becomes available.

Monday, June 16

Internet Gateway Outage

We experienced an unplanned outage last night from 9:01 to 9:09 PM. During this time, we could not route packets to or from the Internet from our core router. An investigation into the cause of the problem is underway with MCI and Cisco support personnel as of 9:30 PM, June 15.

We apologize for the situation, but can assure you we are working diligently with both our Internet backbone provider and our equipment vendor for ways to minimize the likelihood of this event in the future.

Saturday AM, June 14

Core Router Software Problems

During the last few weeks, many customers have been affected by a software routing problem on our Cisco 7200 core router. The router connects the statewide NETDOOR network to the rest of the Internet and as such is our Internet gateway. If the device does not function properly, we have a serious loss of Internet connectivity.

The symptoms you may have experienced were temporary loss of connectivity to services such as the NETDOOR mail server, quake server and other important services. The time from beginning to end of the problems has been under 10 minutes in the past and effected Jackson dialup customers almost exclusively. Due to the issues listed above, we have installed several new versions of the software in hopes of correcting the problem per instructions from Cisco technicians. The latest version of the software caused a network outage at 1:30 AM this morning for 15 minutes when the router software failed. We have backed out this version and have installed an older, more stable release. We have escalated the issue to management at Cisco in hopes of seeing a solution to the problem in the near future.

New Mail Server

Many thanks to the late night UNIX administrators for a job well done on the mail server upgrade. As well, we would like to thank you for taking the time to send those cards and letters about faster access to mail. We have several other upgrades this quarter so watch this page for other important announcements.

Wednesday, June 11

Mail Server Upgrade

We will be upgrading the mail server starting at 3:00 AM on Friday, June 13. During this maintenance window, you not be able to send or retrieve mail as the mail is copied from the old mail server to the new machine. This major upgrade should dramatically improve mail server performance and reliability. Along with upgraded hardware, the new mail server will support IMAP4, a remote mailbox manipulation feature in Netscape Communicator 4.0 and in the soon to be released Internet Explorer 4.0. Several new security features have been added as well. The estimated time to complete this upgrade is 1.5 hours.

Terminal Server Maintenance

We will be doing a maintenance reboot of most of our terminal servers and modems throughout the network (except Jackson MS), starting at 4:00 AM on Thursday, June 12. Customers dialed into the Internet at this time will be temporarily disconnected as the equipment restarts. Each outage should last no more than 10 minutes in any one POP.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to our late nighters, but we utilize non-peak periods for system maintenance. If you experience any problems outside of these windows, please e-mail support@netdoor.com or call our 24 hour support center at 800.952.1570.

Sunday, June 8

Local Quake Player hits it BIG!

Read all about it here.

Jackson Dialup Maintenance

Monday morning starting at 4:00 AM, we will be changing the IP numbers on our terminal servers for enhanced security. In order for the changes to take place, a reboot of the dialup equipment will be necessary. Customers dialed in at the time of the reboot will be temporarily disconnected from the network and notified via e-mail from our support team.

Greenwood Modem Upgrade

The modem banks in Greenwood will be replaced in the coming weeks with all 33.6k U.S. Robotics Analog modems. Although x2 capability is not available with these modems, customers with USR modems should see a noticeable increase in the connect rates and reliability of these duty cycle modems.

Commercial Bandwidth Available

Due to the network upgrades in the past few months, excess commercial Internet bandwidth is now available. We have more than doubled the dedicated ISDN facilities for 64k and 128k connections and have increased the T1 and Frame Relay services as well. If your company is thinking about getting a dedicated connection to the Internet or wants an World Wide Web presence, please give our commercial sales team a call and see how our pricing and support services can help you get connected to the rest of the world. Security, Reliability and Performance are top notch at the state's largest ISP - NETDOOR. E-mail marketing@netdoor.com or call 800.952.1570 and ask to speak to a commercial sales agent.

Tuesday, May 27

InternetMCI Newsfeed

The MCI newsfeed has been re-established as well as a redundant feed to help minimize loss of news in the future. With the three news feeds we are recieving, news is expected to be better than ever. As well, we will be adding new non-alt groups to the list of available topics in the coming weeks.

Jackson Area Dialup Electrical Move Postponed

We have rescheduled the power load distribution to Thursday morning at 4:00 AM to coincide with other scheduled maintenance. During the move, power will be disconnected from several USR x2 chassis as we balance the load. The process will take under 10 minutes and will begin at the above scheduled timeslot.

Monday, May 26

Hattiesburg Area Dialup

As the old number for the Hattiesburg Area (544-1141) has had intermitent trouble the last few days, we have scheduled to have another technician troubleshoot the available lines to see if it is a wiring related problem or a telco problem. The tech is scheduled to arrive around 8:00 AM, and will be performing tests at this time. The x2 capable modem banks will not be effected by these tests.

News Server

Our MCI newsfeed appears to be lagging at this time. We have placed a trouble ticket and will be awaiting correction of this problem sometime in the late afternoon.

Jackson Area Dialup

We will be swapping power junctions in the early morning hours of Tuesday to help balance the power distribution of our co-located space at Brooks Fiber. During this time, several U.S. Robotics chassis will be without power. The expected downtime is scheduled to be around 10 minutes and will begin at 4:00 AM.

Thursday, May 22

Jackson Telco Move Completed

As of 7:00 AM, we have completed the scheduled move of our local phone service to Brooks Fiber. Thanks goes to our beta testers that have helped us ensure the highest possible reliability and our friends at Brooks for getting up early this morning to lend us a helping hand. Please report any problems you to our support team by e-mail to support@netdoor.com or by calling our 24 hour Support Center at 969.1434.

Hattiesburg Facilities Upgrade

We will be installing more modems in the Hattieburg POP early tomorrow morning in preparation for BellSouth's install of new PRI lines for our dialup customers. There should not be any negative impact during the install, as we are simply adding another U.S. Robotics x2 Digital Chassis.

Wednesday, May 21

Jackson Telco Switch Tomorrow Morning

The planned move of our dialup equipment will begin tomorrow morning at 4:00 AM. During this move, Jackson and surrounding area dialup customers will not be able to connect to the Internet as we physically move the equipment to our Brooks Fiber co-located space. The new facilities provide 24/7 battery backup reliability and enhanced phone service, as well as lower operating cost. The move is expected to commence as scheduled with up to 1 and 1/2 hours of downtime for dialup connectivity.

Server Farm Move

During our planned move of the dialup equipment in Jackson, we will be relocating the servers in our NOC to take advantage of new networking equipment and server placement. As we move each server, there will be periods of downtime expected to last no more than 30 minutes.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but we utilize the off peak hours for scheduled maintenance and moves. If you experience any problems outside of this planned move, please feel free to e-mail us at support@netdoor.com or call our 24 hour support team at 800.952.1570.

Tuesday, May 13

Jackson Telco Switch Postponed

! NEWS FLASH !

Our local phone service switch from BellSouth to Brooks Fiber has been postponed until further testing can be implemented. We expect the testing to resume on Thursday and will last until early next week. At this time, we will re-schedule the move and associated Jackson dialup downtime.

Once again, we will NOT have the previously scheduled outage at 5:00 AM this morning as announced last week.

Carthage, Greenwood and Hattiesburg Modem Upgrades

We will be installing additional modems in the above listed POP's within the next two to three weeks depending on the service area. More information will be posted as it becomes available. Keep those postcards and letters coming ...

Thursday, May 8 - Evening

News Server Upgrade

We will be adding another 9-Gigabyte Hard Drive to the news server beginning at 2:30 AM on Friday. News posting will be suspended after an initial reboot to install the hardware. Customer news reading should not be affected after the reboot. We will be replicating the data from a 4 Gig Drive to the new disk during the first few hours. The additional drive space will be used to store more news articles.

If you have any technical support needs that are not effected by this maintenance window please e-mail our team at support@netdoor.com or call our 24 hour Support Center at 800.952.1570.

Thursday, May 8

Jackson Telco Switch Scheduled

We have scheduled our local phone service switch from BellSouth to Brooks Fiber for Tuesday, May 13, at 5:00 AM pending final testing this weekend. During this planned move, dialup customers in the Jackson area will not be able to access the Internet as we perform the physical move to the Brooks Fiber Central Office. The move will take up to (1) one hour as we uninstall, pack and move the equipment to our co-located facilities.

If we move the date of the switch out a few days, we will make another announcement covering the details on this web page. As usual, we perform scheduled maintanence and moves during off-peak times whenever possible.

TECH NOTE:
No configuration changes will be necessary for our analog dialup customers or dedicated access accounts after the move.

BETA PROGRAM NOTICE:
40 Jackson area customers will be included in our beta test program and mailed dialup instructions on Friday. Customers that would like to be included in this beta test can e-mail analog-beta@netdoor.com.

We will be asking for several ISDN dialup customers to perform testing during the same period if work can be completed for these tests by Friday. Please e-mail isdn-beta@netdoor.com if you are a dialup ISDN customer (64k or 128k) and would like to be included in this test. After the move, dialup ISDN customers in the Jackson area must change the dialup ISDN number (TBA).

Internet Bandwidth Upgrade

How about that bandwidth boost? Please take a moment and tell us how it feels to be in the fast lane?

Tuesday, May 6 - Afternoon

NEWS FLASH ... Internet Upgrade Complete

The schedule upgrade of our Internet connection was completed at 11:15 AM this morning. The transition to the new line went without a hitch and customers are already commenting on the performance boost. If you have any comments (pro or con), please take a moment and fill out our customer survey form. As always, we want to know the areas where we can improve our service.

A special thanks goes to the Carrier Group/Internet Provisioning at MCI and our friends at Brooks Fiber for their extra effort in completing this upgrade on schedule.

Tuesday, May 6

Internet Bandwidth Upgrade Scheduled for this morning

As announced several times in the last month, we are scheduled to have additional Internet bandwidth operational this morning. During the upgrade period, we will have outages of up to 90 minutes as the work is being performed. Impaired services will be any outgoing and incoming Internet traffic such as web browsing, file transfers and the like. Any e-mail sent to you should be resent a few hours later from the mail server of origin. All mail collected from you will go out within 5 hours of work completion.

Unless otherwise noted, the work will be performed around 8:30 AM and may last until 11:00 AM today.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, but the performance boost will be worth the wait. If you have support needs not covered by the outage listed below, or you would like additional information on the upgrade status, please call our support center at 800.952.1570.

Thursday, May 1

Modem Software Update Complete

The last of the x2 digital modems in Hattiesburg and Jackson were updated this morning as scheduled. As well, we performed an emergency replacement of a poorly performing terminal server in our Jackson POP. A special thanks goes to customers that alerted us of this situation.

Additional Internet Bandwidth on the Way

Don't forget, next week we will be upgrading our Internet connection during regular business hours to meet the schedules of our telco and Internet providers. The conversion will take between 30 and 90 minutes with periodic routing related problems and loss of Internet connectivity. The fractional T3 upgrade will significantly improve the performance of downloading software and web page loading. We have a tentative start time of 8:00 AM CST on Tuesday, May 6.