What’s behind the Frogfoot fibre network outage

Fibre network operator Frogfoot Networks has explained the cause of intermittent connectivity issues on its network over the last five days.

Frogfoot customers in Johannesburg, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, and East London have been struggling with connectivity since Friday 21 May.

The operator on Saturday confirmed it was aware of the issue, and said that its teams were working hard to resolve the problem.

As of Tuesday afternoon, however, Frogfoot’s Network Status page stated that a resolution was still “In Progress”.

Frogfoot Networks head of sales and marketing Shane Chorley said the issue was due to a big network upgrade and was limited to a small portion of the operator’s overall network.

“We are undergoing a major network upgrade, which included migrating a portion of our network from a previous equipment vendor, Extreme Networks, to our current equipment vendor, Juniper Networks, and this has resulted in some teething issues that are continuing,” Chorley stated.

OLT problems

Frogfoot said one of the ongoing issues had to do with network equipment used to aggregate hundreds or thousands of its subscribers, known as optical line terminals (OLTs).

After the network migration, the OLTs had started to reboot randomly, which has made it difficult to identify the root cause.

“This affects the network nationally and all customers connected to the specific OLTs will be affected while the device reboots,” the operator stated.

Chorley said Frogfoot has taken a number of measures to mitigate the impact, which included firmware downgrades, while the underlying problem was being investigated and resolved.

“We are working closely with Juniper Networks as well as Calix, the manufacturers of the OLT equipment, to capture data on the events in order to identify and resolve the issues,” said Chorley.

Afrihost issue

In a separate issue, there was also a problem with the Johannesburg interconnection point for users connected to one of Frogfoot’s major ISPs – Afrihost.

This resulted in connectivity issues for all Frogfoot customers connecting to the Gauteng region – including those in  Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Bloemfontein, Kimberley, and East London.

Frogfoot said a temporary workaround was implemented while its equipment vendor and system integrator were identifying and resolving the underlying issue.

“Frogfoot is working closely with their engineers to identify and permanently resolve the problems and apologises for this inconvenience,” the operator stated.

Update – 26 May

Now read: Potholes in South Africa are getting so bad that a fibre operator is now helping to fix them

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What’s behind the Frogfoot fibre network outage