In the ‘bad old days’, the Redbricks intranet was pioneering and inspirational, but pretty patchy and unreliable. It got somewhat better from 2007 with a new set of volunteers taking it on, and though a lot faster, was still pretty shonky.
Since the rewire in 2013 and 2015 the quality of service, speed and reliability has vastly increased, putting it on a par or better than many commercial internet providers.
Our speeds are generally about 50Mbps download and 10Mbps upload. If you want to test how fast it is now (if you’re on our network already!), try here.
Occasionally the equipment you, our dear users, plug in, knocks out either yourself or more people. From time-to-time you forget to update or install virus software, which can slow the network or get us blocked if your computer is infected and spamming everyone.
Let us know via our phone number if your internet connection has gone down for more than 5 minutes – if we don’t know there’s a problem, we won’t be trying to get it sorted.
We do our best to remedy these problems as soon as possible and are probably as frustrated as you are by them. Thank you for your understanding that we are volunteers with work and other commitments too.
We are of course still reliant on our internet provider, Zen, and they in turn on BT Openzone, so if there’s a problem, stay calm and check out their status page.
During 2018 our network has been fairly reliable and stable, with some exceptions (in reverse order):
2 April: the network has been slow at times over the last weeks, and yesterday went down on Hunmanby odds and Rockdove odds. Though fixed today, this has been frustrating. We’re testing new equipment and working with One Manchester to get it installed as soon as they are able to. This should give us better reliability, faster speeds and more ability to identify and stop the impact of people who are breaking our download limit or don’t safeguard their computer with virus protection software. In the meantime we can only apologise.
13 March: sporadic connection problems for some computers across the network today; all sorted by early evening. Thanks to the people who let us know to our phone.
24 February: different parts of the estate were down for brief periods in the morning as we tried to get Hunmanby evens working again. It seems to be beyond our ability to fix for now – we’re having an emergency meeting and have another booked with One Manchester for 6th March. We’ll keep our subscribers on that side of the street informed, and we can only apologise we’re still not able to rectify the major problem. 1st March update: later today we’re going to try the modern equivalent of chucking a cable across a street to get Hunmanby evens back on. If this works, not only will it provide a back-up whenever this happens anywhere on the estate, but will trial equipment that if good we’ll buy more of, that will improve speeds and reliability for everyone. Update: equipment is working well and Hunmanby evens is back on. We’re working with One Manchester for a permanent solution.
12 February: Hunmanby odds down for a couple of hours.
31 January: Hunmanby evens this time. Part of our equipment has surprisingly rusted and needs replacing – we’ve ordered a new one, arriving on 2nd February. In the meantime, if you have mobile data and want a hand learning how to tether internet from a mobile phone, get in touch. Update: unfortunately replacing the faulty equipment only partially resolved the issue and people are back on but only able to download; we’ll keep investigating, and in the meantime apologise to those residents this impacts.
24 January: Hunmanby odds was up and down for about half an hour in the evening before we fixed the problem.
8 January: The whole network went down soon after 8pm, did spot what triggered it and got it back on. When still down, switching router off for 2 minutes then back on worked for all reported down ports.
“Happy new 2018” start of the year: Network has been up and down, and slow for few weeks now. Few ports been re-connected soon after we heard from them being down. Thanks for emailing/ texting us as soon as it happens, even if it’s to report slow connection it gives us valuable timed data.
During 2017 our network has been reliable and stable, with some exceptions (in reverse order):
Merry Christmas and… see 2018 update above
3 December: a couple of minutes down for each street whilst we improved the functioning of the network, updating firmware.
19 September: Hunmanby odds down for 45 minutes. The whole network’s been slow at times over the last 2 weeks; we’re taking measures and investigating further.
30 August: network speeded up after we twiddled some, following a few slow days. A reminder that we need your email address and phone number, as a condition of use.
25-26 June: network down overnight due to someone plugging in an incorrectly configured TP link wireless router. If this might have been you, please contact the RIC phone so we can help you configure it so it doesn’t cause such issues again.
March/April: intermittent slow connections for much of the network, usually during evenings. We’d like to remind all our users of their downloading restrictions. We’re putting in place measures to help with this; some are already helping with speeds, some will take us longer to fully implement.
18th January: as per 16th January, for fewer hours. They ‘should’ now phone us in advance if this arises again and on the six-monthly safety checks.
16th January: City South replacing lighting without giving us notice, which cut electricity to our network for half the day, taking the whole network down. Once power back up, various streets were down for a while with resulting knock-on problems, till we fixed them.
During 2016 our network has been reliable and stable, with some exceptions (in reverse order):
28th December: problem on Rockdove evens fixed with a work-around that should stop it happening again.
7th December: City South replacing lighting, cutting electricity to our network for part of the day.
Hunmanby odd numbers: during August and the first half of September there was an intermittent problem that got much worse. It’s now solved.
Late June: Hunmanby even numbers and Rockdove odds briefly off. Problem sorted.
mid-June: issues for some users on Hunmanby odds.
10-19th May: a rogue server was connected by someone that took the network down some of the time, seemingly on Rockdove evens.
24th April: quarantined someone on the network who was spamming the world or otherwise sending eye-watering amounts of data.
14th April: someone else quarantined for similar reasons.
5th April: due to a bot on our network (someone’s computer was infected by a virus and so sending out spam) we were on a blocking list and so not able to send out email. Solved by us blocking some of our ports and reminded people to install virus software.
23rd February: all addresses briefly down at different points in the day.