Yesterday afternoon, reports started to come out that there were problems with the Verizon Wireless high-speed 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) network. According to the Wall Street Journal, Verizon  rolled out its 4G network in 45 metropolitan areas last December, and this is the first major problem with it.

A Reutersnews story reported that voice calls on Verizon's Thunderbolt LTE-enabled phone worked, but that data speeds were "slow." Other stories reported data speeds as being nonexistent, however, and also reported that voice calls were out as well.

The WSJ reported that the problems began around 0100 EDT yesterday morning, and they have apparently persisted into this morning. The WSJ is now reporting that Verizon Wireless claims that it had restored service to the New York area and was working to restore it in other areas.

Verizon Wireless is a joint venture between Verizon Communications and the UK wireless company Vodafone. Vodafone Australia, you may recall, has been having a host of problems all its own for the past several months which reared up once more on Easter Sunday.

According to ZDNet Australia, Vodafone's text messaging service went out on Sunday at about 1430 AEST, and lasted until 2230. Vodafone, per its protocol, apologized to its customers "for the inconvenience."

ZDNet reported in another story Tuesday that Vodafone told it that:

"The disruption to SMS services on Sunday afternoon was caused by a network fault in one of our exchanges. Engineers are currently completing their investigation, but the fault was an isolated issue that affected the core network elements which manage our SMS traffic."

Vodafone customers - those that are left, anyway - were more than a little displeased at not being able to send "Happy Easter" messages to friends and family.

ZDNet reported that:

"In the course of the service disruption, customers took to Twitter and Facebook to lodge complaints about the service, with "vodafail" becoming the top trending topic in Australia on Twitter for a day, and a Facebook group devoted to the outage gaining 20,000 members in the time that SMS services were offline."

It would be interesting to see how much of an overlap there is between the 20,000 mentioned above and the now 22,000 Australians that The Australian reports have joined a class action lawsuit against Vodafone for "misleading and deceptive conduct," i.e., not providing the service it advertised. The lawsuit had 9,000 prospective members back in January.

Vodafone announced on its blog that in light of the text messaging outage, that on the 1st of May, between 0800 and 2000 AEST, text messaging would be free. The offer has done little to quell Vodafone customers' irritation, however.

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Why the Internet Needs the InterPlanetary File System

Peer-to-peer file sharing would make the Internet far more efficient

12 min read
An illustration of a series
Carl De Torres

When the COVID-19 pandemic erupted in early 2020, the world made an unprecedented shift to remote work. As a precaution, some Internet providers scaled back service levels temporarily, although that probably wasn’t necessary for countries in Asia, Europe, and North America, which were generally able to cope with the surge in demand caused by people teleworking (and binge-watching Netflix). That’s because most of their networks were overprovisioned, with more capacity than they usually need. But in countries without the same level of investment in network infrastructure, the picture was less rosy: Internet service providers (ISPs) in South Africa and Venezuela, for instance, reported significant strain.

But is overprovisioning the only way to ensure resilience? We don’t think so. To understand the alternative approach we’re championing, though, you first need to recall how the Internet works.

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