Service Interruption - March 18, 2012

Important and exciting updates from Fongo!

Update from Steve

Postby TheHardy » 03/18/2012

FONGO_steve wrote:This is also the first official update that I have received since earlier - our teams have been busy working all day on this and my contact with them has been limited due to the fact that I myself am not at home base either today.


Understandable, and I sort of figured that. However, the promise of updates followed by dead air "shows" poorly. As I said, hearing that there will be updates and then getting none is WORSE than dead silence.

I know that it there may not (YET!) be a crisis contingency plan, but it sounds like it is about time to have someone formulate one! ;-)
Hardy - Surrey, BC ~~ increasingly disgruntled FPL user ... comon, fix your stuff!
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Re: Service Interruption - March 18, 2012

Postby user451 » 03/18/2012

just registered seconds ago. made a call that actually connected and both sides worked this time.
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Re: Service Interruption - March 18, 2012

Postby mahaos » 03/18/2012

In Quebec City (418) the service is working properly at 6PM.
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Re: Service Interruption - March 18, 2012

Postby fcard » 03/18/2012

Mine is up to!
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Re: Service Interruption - March 18, 2012

Postby dutty.persian » 03/18/2012

in Montreal, 514, successfully made a call
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Re: Service Interruption - March 18, 2012

Postby user451 » 03/18/2012

user451 wrote:just registered seconds ago. made a call that actually connected and both sides worked this time.


Just after typing this got a call that lasted about 20 minutes without issue now 6:16pm

Looking good in Brampton 905
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Re: Service Interruption - March 18, 2012

Postby vostro » 03/18/2012

back to normal after unplugging power of modem and reboot.
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Re: Service Interruption - March 18, 2012

Postby fcard » 03/18/2012

Worked for 2 calls. Now it's down again.
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Re: Service Interruption - March 18, 2012

Postby Zinner » 03/18/2012

I'm still having intermittent outages from complete dead air to ring and then fast busy. This outage has been happening since early morning till now.
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Re: Service Interruption - March 18, 2012

Postby gi1 » 03/18/2012

Ottawa/Hull (819)... Powered cycle the system.

Works from computer to bell
From ATA to Bell or from Bell to ATA still "busy" tone after composition.. So on its way back to normal?

And for the one (I don't remember the name) who complained a few hours ago as Hotmail also offers free service and is always on... Hotmail has been done and on/of for 72 hours 2 weeks ago! I think FreePhoneLine still does a great job, and I thank a lot all tech team member who sacrificed a really nice Sunday working on system!

Gil

Update:
it's back :)
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Re: Service Interruption - March 18, 2012

Postby DHANJAL » 03/18/2012

hi in brampton still the same not working
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Re: Service Interruption - March 18, 2012

Postby Amowagou » 03/18/2012

Last time I checked at 6 p.m. it was working in Mississauga and it still working now. :D
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Re: Service Interruption - March 18, 2012

Postby jimcho » 03/18/2012

In BC / Pitt Meadows, since mid this afternoon, nobody can call us (they hear no ringing, and it does not ring our phone). However, we get a dial tone and can dial out. So outgoing is working fine, but no incoming. And it still does not work as of 7pm.
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Re: Service Interruption - March 18, 2012

Postby faz68 » 03/18/2012

A few things. For whomever didn't think this isn't a big deal...it is. After two weeks of diligent testing I made the plung to port my phone number I've had for years. It happens on Tuesday. It took a lot of convincing my wife to switch. I'm still a bit nervous about the 911 service............and then this happens. Not only didn't I have phone, the freephoneline.ca website was frozen, the fongo website was frozen so no way to get any info. Was telling everyone how great the service is and they call me tonight giggling that they couldn't reach me all day (jokes on me). Yes this is 'kinda' free. I've invested $50 for the VOIP Unlock, $60 for the SIP adapter and $25 to port my number. I still have to pay for overseas long distance, and tried to call some small town in Ontario and was told it was a long distance call! So the real question becomes, is this just a service for the young folks who also carry around a cell phone, the people who are so cash strapped that this is their best alternative or is this the "real deal", the "game changer" as per the Toronto Star article that got me interested. Well in for a penny in for a pound. Let's hope this was just an anomaly because the service really has been fantastic, other than today.
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Re: Service Interruption - March 18, 2012

Postby TheHardy » 03/18/2012

Faz68: even POTS lines have problems, and since I have been around, THIS is the biggest outtage that has occurred. I am _positive_ that staff at Fongo/DV/FPL will be reviewing their "Disaster response plan" in light of today's service interruption -- it seems that whatever plans they had in place, did not work properly.

Please do remember that since the launch of DV, their system has experienced TREMENDOUS growth, and I am sure that the influx of new users and heavier server load may have contributed to the backup plan NOT going as smoothly (read: it is a lot easier to get a backup running for 100 users than it is for 1000) --- this is MOST LIKELY why service was up and then down and then back up again for users that were posting in the various threads ... I am sure that some backups came ONLINE and then were knocked off again by the sheer volume of traffic that was hitting them.

it is not unheard of for the website(s) to be affected at the same time that the registration/network servers go down --- that is ONE of the MAIN reasons that the forums are on a SEPARATE server, as was learned from PREVIOUS outtages! :)

Again, I am not an expert, so we WILL have to wait for the post-mortem from Steve.

As for reliable service, generally FPL is very reliable. Even POTS does fail. If your family is uncomfortable, then I always suggest having at least one other means of communication.

As for long distance costs, I am sure that you are still saving over what you had before. That "Small Ontario Town" -- was it a LOCAL call on your old provider? Or was it a long distance call? Did your old provider cover as much of the Canadian population with free outbound calling as FPL does, or did you have to buy a PLAN on top of your monthly LINE cost to get that feature?

I am no belittling your concerns -- they are valid, and I myself have some serious questions about how TODAY was handled.

Let's give the company officials and reps a chance to weigh in and let us know.
Hardy - Surrey, BC ~~ increasingly disgruntled FPL user ... comon, fix your stuff!
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Re: Service Interruption - March 18, 2012

Postby FONGO_steve » 03/19/2012

Good morning everyone,

As an update this morning, our teams worked through the night on further maintenance and system monitoring. We will post an official summary once the details are available and all teams have fully debriefed on yesterday.
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Re: Service Interruption - March 18, 2012

Postby TheHardy » 03/19/2012

FONGO_steve wrote:As an update this morning, our teams worked through the night on further maintenance and system monitoring. We will post an official summary once the details are available and all teams have fully debriefed on yesterday.


Morning Steve -- thanks for letting us know that the summary is pending. Thanks to you and the techs for the hard work to get things patched together.

Insofar as the updates, even "we're still working on it, found x broken, but that was not it, now playing with y" would have been appreciated, as there was no other contact channel.

I know that the forum is a more-or-less "volunteer" position, but in the case of service outtages/difficulties, it becomes very important, and maybe even getting a techie to post like a "quick tweet-style" update would have been helpful. I know that there is no large PR machine to do polished press-release type statements, but still.

Hope you take this as the CONSTRUCTIVE criticism it is meant to be, and not an attack or a slam ... :)

Have a great Monday ... even if it is post-apocalyptic! ;-)
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Re: Service Interruption - March 18, 2012

Postby c150rocks » 03/19/2012

Steve and others at Freephoneline.ca

Yesterday's interruption was a road bump at best. I'm sure you all were not sitting at home waiting till Monday to resolve the issue!! I'm a firm believer you get what you pay for. My service with your company is essentially free and therefore I don't expect service to be on par with the big players. Why you may ask? It's free and resources are limited I'd assume. I am grateful to Fongo,Freephoneline or whatever the proper corporate name is, that I was able to punt my home phone service which I paid dearly into for over 30 years but felt over charged and under serviced for many of the years. I would be a fool to believe any computer based service is bullet proof and a greater fool not to have a back up for those just in case days. Yesterday was a "just in case day" and my cell phone was indeed my trusty back up. I expect you are all working hard to resolve the issues and that your corporation will learn from this outage. Thank You for doing your best....while navigating through the series of road bumps over the last hours.

A very happy freephoneline user.
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Re: Service Interruption - March 18, 2012

Postby zoro » 03/19/2012

Steve,

this probably has nothing with the outage you guys had yesterday, but I wanted to let you know that OpenDNS (I guess, lot's of you have heard of OpenDNS) has been blocking FORUM section on FPL web site as Conficker worm infected.

I know this, as I am using OpenDNS and I had reported this to them to remove restriction, but it is still not accessible through their DNS servers.

I hope it's fake alert and I don't want to bring any panic to all this, but just as an fyi.

Thanks,

Zoro
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Re: Service Interruption - March 18, 2012

Postby radio » 03/19/2012

Is the service still down in toronto?

My service was working last night but this morning instead of dialtone i have a stuttering noise?
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Re: Service Interruption - March 18, 2012

Postby pedor » 03/19/2012

radio wrote:Is the service still down in toronto?

My service was working last night but this morning instead of dialtone i have a stuttering noise?


Do you have messages on voicemail that you've not listened to yet?
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Re: Service Interruption - March 18, 2012

Postby evilmonkey » 03/19/2012

faz68 wrote:So the real question becomes, is this just a service for the young folks who also carry around a cell phone, the people who are so cash strapped that this is their best alternative or is this the "real deal", the "game changer" as per the Toronto Star article that got me interested.


This is my opinion, so take it for what it's worth. I believe that it is completely irresponsible from a safety standpoint to rely on freephoneline (or fongo/Dell Voice or any other VoIP system, including the Vonages of the world) as your only communication option. Here's why. Voice over IP systems rely on a number of existing networks, each one a point of failure. In order for a VoIP phone to work, you need (at a minimum) power, access to the internet and functioning VoIP equipment. Here's the problem: power goes out often enough. Internet goes down even more often. Complicated VoIP equipment, which often includes routers, ATAs and possibly PBX systems that also fails every once in a while and your phone will not work until you identify that you have a problem and fix it.

Compare that to a good old Bell phone line. That service will work without power (it provides its own and has generators in case of widespread power outages, such as the 2004 blackout) and certainly without access to internet. In fact, Bell DSL will go down first when something is wrong with Bell's system, the phones will go down absolutely last. I had Bell service for the entire duration of the 2004 blackout. No VoIP service can provide that. Even if you have uninterruptable power supplies or generators, that still doesn't solve your internet problem.

You can avoid most of these problems by having a cell phone. Cell phones are on different systems and are not related to your VoIP equipment, power or access to the internet.

So to answer your question, yes, in my opinion, FPL is for people who have cell phones as backup (I don't see why they have to be young, my 85 year old grandfather has a cell phone). This is not because there is anything wrong with FPL/Fongo, but because the VoIP system has way too many fault points. I just set up my FPL line to forward to my cell phone when my own system is down. My own system goes down, whether due to an internet screwup or a power failure for about an hour every 3-4 months on average. The FPL system went down twice in the two and a half years that I've been using the service, for a total time of about 20 hours including yesterday. If you do the math over two years, that's 99.89% uptime for FPL. That's pretty good. But you still need a backup phone if you don't want to miss calls or if you have to dial 911.

I haven't had a Bell line in years. I have been using a combination of VoIP (FPL right now, another provider before that) and a cell phone. If all cell phones were rendered unusable and networks fried, my combination would be VoIP + Bell line. Either way, never rely on VoIP alone.

Again, just my $0.02.
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Re: Service Interruption - March 18, 2012

Postby dibsmft » 03/19/2012

I agree with evilmonkey. I kept my land line until about 18 months ago when I discovered that I could finally drop the landline. I have used voip for many years (almost since it started and even on dialup). I am lucky in that my DSL service seems to be extremely reliable but I still like to have some back up so I have a cell phone. Oddly, my landline has failed more times than my internet and I have had to call for service using voip. The worst event was when there was a small fire at the phone exchange when everything went - landline, internet, voip and cellphone it become clear that the phone company back up perhaps did not really exist or was inadequate. I do not use Fongo for my main service as they do not provide local dids or much local coverage but instead use two separate providers each offering full service. I would still recommend voip services to most people provided that they have a cell phone for backup. Mind you, I would say, never rely on a cell phone alone as the seem to be worse than voip in many ways.
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Re: Service Interruption - March 18, 2012

Postby radio » 03/19/2012

pedor wrote:
radio wrote:Is the service still down in toronto?

My service was working last night but this morning instead of dialtone i have a stuttering noise?


Do you have messages on voicemail that you've not listened to yet?


the stuttering noise instead of dialtone is as if the pap2t was set to a different frequency/voltage for dialtone.. i have confirmed and its set to 52/90.

Still no dialtone today... i have called the tech and they said they will get someone to look into it but i have no updates or working telephone.
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Re: Service Interruption - March 18, 2012

Postby FONGO_steve » 03/19/2012

An announcement relating to yesterday's issue has been posted at the thread linked to below:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=4796
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