System News



This page has been created to keep you informed of system updates as they take place. Please check back to this page periodically so we can keep you informed.


Monday, February 12, 2001

AnnaKournikova.jpg.vbs Virus:

VBS.SST@mm is a VBS email worm that has been encoded using a virus creation kit. The worm arrives as an attachment named AnnaKournikova.jpg.vbs When executed, the worm emails itself to everyone in your Microsoft Outlook book. On January 26, the worm will attempt to direct your Web browser to an Internet address located in The Netherlands.

This worm appears to have originated in the Netherlands click here for more information and help deleting the virus if you have received it - http://www.symantec.com/avcenter/venc/data/vbs.sst@mm.html.

Monday, February 12, 2001

Chatham Outage:

Chatham customers experienced an extended outage beginning late Sunday evening until Wednesday morning.  The outage was caused be a router that malfunctioned.  We made several attempts to repair the router but were unsuccessful.  We then pulled a router from another site to bring this site back up.  We apologize for any inconveniences this caused.

Sunday, February 11, 2001

Kenbridge Outage:

Kenbridge customers experienced an outage beginning at 3 a.m. Sunday morning - the cause of the outage was originally thought to be a circuit down.  Sprint was contacted to test the circuit and they determined to call out a representative to the central office.  This process took several hours.  After the circuit was tested and found to be OK - it was then determined that a router was not functioning properly.  MCS was dispatched out Sunday evening - the router was removed and replaced, which brought the service back up.

Wednesday, December 27, 2000

Problems In South Hill

A router failed on Monday (12/18) late evening which caused many busy signals MCS was dispatched out at midnight that evening and determined this is the problem. The router was disabled which allowed calls to go through but disabled 48 of my 192 lines. The next day MCS installed a new router and this allowed all 192 lines to function again. Over the holidays we experienced a problem with the second set of lines coming into this new router, which caused busy signals. My technical team reported this morning that Sprint corrected this problem late last night; however, I just reported again that we are having problems with this set of lines not allowing calls to roll over to the next available open line. We have contacted Sprint again this morning for them to correct the situation. We have disabled that set of lines at this time to allow calls to roll over as they should. Sprint replaced the circuit late afternoon, which seems to be holding.  MCS apologizes for this inconvenience and wants to assure you that we are staying on top of this issue with Sprint.

Tuesday, December 19, 2000

Problems System Wide

We experienced a problem system-wide which disrupted the ability to surf the Internet.  The problem was quickly found to be a DNS error in the routers and was resolved.  

Tuesday, November 28, 2000

Potential New Viruses

We received an email from a local computer programmer warning our customers of three new potential viruses. You can view details of these viruses at www.meckcom.net/virusupdate.html.

Monday, November 27, 2000

New Lines Ordered

We have ordered 24 new lines for each of the following locations - Gretna, Kenbridge, Halifax, South Hill, Blackstone and Chase City.  We have asked to expedite the orders to avoid having busy signals for any length of time.  We thank you for your understanding and patience while these lines are being installed.

Wednesday, October 18, 2000

Potential New Viruses

 

We received an email from a local computer programmer warning our customers of three new potential viruses. You can view details of these viruses at www.meckcom.net/virusupdate.html.



Monday, October 16, 2000

Busy Signals in Blackstone

 

As we have sent via email - we have ordered 48 new lines to be installed by 10/17 and have requested to double the size of our frame relay circuit (your connection to South Hill then out to the Internet) by 10/25. Sprint has installed the first 24 lines and should be installing the remaining 24 this week. We have requested an additional Class C IP block from Arin - this is necessary to bring up these new lines but have not heard back from Arin on the approval of this request. Once we get the new IP allocations, we will be able to turn up the first 24 new lines and the remaining 24 new lines once they are installed. The IP request may delay us a few days from the date we mentioned in our email. We apologize for any inconveniences you may be experiencing.



Thursday, October 12, 2000

New Chatham/Danville Location

 

We have installed our new location in Chatham, Virginia - this location will serve Chatham and Danville.



Thursday, August 17, 2000

Busy Signals in Lawrenceville

 

We have had a few calls from subscribers in the Lawrenceville area indicating they are beginning to receive some busy signals when they try to connect. MCS monitors each location to determine when new lines should be installed. We use a 6 to 1 ratio to determine when lines are needed. This means we have one line for every six consumers. This ratio is much lower than most ISPs use - AOL uses 10 to 1 and many others use 8 to 1. Once a location reaches about 80% capacity - we order new lines. The Lawrenceville area is getting close to that percentage. We have intentions of ordering new lines in about 30 days; however, Verizon (GTE/Bell Atlantic merging to form Verizon) is currently on strike. We do not know when the strike may end but we will continue to monitor the situation and order lines as soon as we can. We apologize for any inconveniences you may be experiencing.



Thursday, August 17, 2000

New Access in Chatham

 

We have had many calls from interested individuals in the Chatham area requesting local Internet access. We have ordered the lines from Verizon (GTE/Bell Atlantic merging to form Verizon); however, Verizon is currently on strike. We do not know when the strike may end but we will continue to monitor the situation and will push the installation of the lines as soon as we can. We apologize for any inconveniences you may be experiencing.



Wednesday, July 19, 2000

A New Method For Attacking Computers

 

A new method for attacking computers connected to the Internet allows vandals to take control of a PC simply by sending it an e-mail.

The vulnerability in Microsoft's Outlook e-mail program has widespread implications: Until now, victims had to willingly open an e-mail attachment, or at least view a specially formed e-mail message, to be attacked. For more information - go to http://www.zdnet.com/filters/printerfriendly/0,6061,2605031-2,00.html for more information!



Wednesday, June 28, 2000

AT&T Planned Outage

Please be advised of the following: AT&T Network Engineers will be performing a card swap on Washington D.C. access router 5, slot 12 during the maintenance window of 2:00AM-6:00AM local time, on June 28, 2000. Please note not all customers will be affected by this maintenance. MCS is posting this planned outage because we are unsure if this will affect our system.

Sunday, June 18, 2000

AT&T Outages

The following areas experienced an outage due to summer storms passing through Virginia which took down two AT&T circuits: Chase City, Clarksville, Emporia, Lawrenceville and Blackstone. The outages varied in length; however, we would like to assure our customers that we responded immediately after the circuit went down and monitored the work by AT&T to restore the circuit as quickly as possible. The length of restoration time was longer than usual due to the fact that AT&T lost many circuits in the southern tier of Virginia due to the number of storms passing through that evening.

Monday, June 12, 2000

Conversion Update

MCS began it's conversion process to change our existing outbound T1s to a tier 1 backbone connection to the Internet through AT&T. We requested that AT&T take control of all the domains (web sites) that we host as well as reverse DNS. This was requested to avoid problems during the conversion where the domains could not be accessed. This was a huge mistake on our part. We assumed that AT&T, being the large corporation that they are, would handle this request with efficiency; however, every entry they made either had mispelled words or incorrect IP addressing. These errors caused havoc on our system throughout this week and spilled into the beginning of the next week. We caught most of the errors on Tuesday, June 13; however, when changes are made on the AT&T servers - this takes 24 hours for their server to update then it takes another 24-48 hours for the new information to propegate throughout the Internet. We are very sorry for the problems this caused our customers and we worked very hard throughout the conversion period to correct the mistakes made by AT&T as quickly as possible.

Wednesday, May 24, 2000

Outage Update

A failure occured this morning with our UPS system in our main Chase City location. This failure caused all servers to shut down and kept our customers from retrieving email, authenticating and viewing web sites hosted on our servers. We brought the system back up this morning but needed to replace the bad UPS. A temporary UPS was installed this afternoon which caused another brief outage.

The abrupt shutdown of our servers caused some problems on our domain server, this server hosts our web sites, and we are currently working to resolve this as quickly as we can.

The temporary UPS will be replaced with new equipment in the near future, which will cause another brief outage. You will receive notification of the outage via email as soon as we can determine the date and time. We apologize for any inconveniences this may have caused you.



Monday, May 22, 2000

New Virus Warning

A nasty new virus that is smart enough to evade anti-virus software by continuously changing its name is on the loose. Anti-virus firm Trend Micro said the bug - called "NEWLOVE," but unrelated to the recent ILOVEYOU virus. NEWLOVE carries a much more dangerous payload than ILOVEYOU.

If you don't know what the e-mail is - DON'T OPEN IT - and send it to a virus checker e-mail box for further examination. The virus randomly chooses a filename in your Windows\Recent folder and attempts to forward a mutated version of itself to everybody in your Microsoft Outlook address book. You can find out more about his virus by going to the following link: http://www.msnbc.co/news/409559.ap


Friday, May 5, 2000

Love Bite Virus Update

Below you will find a link to msnbc.com which will explain the new love bug virus that is causing havoc through the Internet.  This site will tell you what you can do to prevent getting it and what you can do to repair your system if you have already received it.  

http://www.msnbc.com/news/403350.asp

Thank you for choosing Mecklenburg Communications Services as your local Internet service provider. 

Tuesday, May 2, 2000

Just a note on potential hacking and/or port scanning on your personal computer...

See this link on "Hacking and Port Scanning Information


Thursday, April 27, 2000


Halifax Outages


A 16-modem card fail at our Halifax location. We attempted to reset the card, which caused a brief 5-minute outage, but were unsuccessful.

We will replace the 16-modem card this afternoon, which will cause another brief 5-minute outage. We apologize for any inconveniences this may have caused.

Wednesday, April 26, 2000


Kenbridge Outage


Kenbridge lines are experiencing a lot of heavy static - we have notified Sprint to correct this problem as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Tuesday, April 25, 2000


South Hill Problems


We have had a few emails indicating that subscribers in the South Hill area during the evening hours are getting a busy signal and/or taking a long time to authenticate. We are investigating this problem and have found one of the PRI (24 telephone lines) coming into that site is not functioning as it should. We are working with Sprint to correct this problem as quickly as we can. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Saturday, April 22, 2000


Kenbridge Outage


Starting Friday evening Kenbridge started to have difficulty getting connected or keeping a connection. The problem was due to the weather. When it rains for long periods of time, moisture gets into the telephone lines which will cause no answer errors or drop offs. Sprint was notified of the problems; however, Sprint indicated that this is an ongoing problem that really has no solution other than the rain stopping and allowing the lines to clear the moisture. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Thursday, April 13, 2000


SLOW RESPONSE TIMES IN SOUTH HILL --- UPDATE!


The new high speed router has been completely installed which now handles the two AT&T T1 Internet connections as well as the T1 frame relay connections from Blackstone, Kenbridge and Halifax. We have received numerous emails from customers indicating they noticed the better speeds. Thank you for your understanding and patience.

Thursday, March 30, 2000


SLOW RESPONSE TIMES IN SOUTH HILL --- UPDATE!


The router we were expecting to be delivered on Wednesday should be delivered by late Thursday or early Friday morning. We are expecting to have the router configured and installed Friday. If there are any changes, we will send an update through email and post it here.

We apologize for this delay. Please be assured that we will work as quickly as we can to install the router once we receive it. Thank you for your patience and understanding.


Wednesday, March 29, 2000


SLOW RESPONSE TIMES IN SOUTH HILL --- UPDATE!


The high speed router that we ordered yesterday to be delivered overnight did not arrive. Federal Express delivered the modules for the router but not the actual router. We have placed a trace on the shipment and we hope the router will be delivered tomorrow.

We apologize for this delay. Please be assured that we will work as quickly as we can to install the router once we receive it. Thank you for your patience and understanding.


Tuesday, March 28, 2000


SLOW RESPONSE TIMES IN SOUTH HILL!!


We are aware of the problem our subscribers are experiencing with slow response times downloading pages and retrieving emails. We have a router that is malfunctioning. We have ordered a high speed replacement router to be shipped overnight. In the mean time - we are working with Cisco (manufacturer of the malfunctioning router) to see if there is a temporary patch we can do. We apologize for the problem but want to assure you that we will have the problem corrected as soon as possible.


Thursday, March 9, 2000


ATTN: ALL CLOVER SUBSCRIBERS

We have installed the new lines for the Clover area. We apologize for any inconveniences the busy signals you received over the last few weeks may have caused.


Thursday, March 9, 2000


We have completed the program to allow broadcast emails to all of our customers to alert them of updates on the system, viruses, etc. These emails will be sent from "Administrative Announcements". We hope these announcements will be helpful.

Wednesday, March 8, 2000


EMAIL VIRUS ALERT!! We have been contacted by several customers indicating they have received an email with prettypark.exe or coolprogs/prettypark.exe file attached to the email - DO NOT OPEN this email - DELETE the entire message! The customers that have contacted us indicated that the virus came in to their computers via email and copied their entire address book in their email program and then automatically sent out an email to all of those address. This doesn't appear to be a bad virus - just an annoying one.


Wednesday, March 8, 2000


ATTN: ALL BLACKSTONE, CHASE CITY AND EMPORIA SUBSCRIBERS

We have installed the new lines for the Blackstone, Chase City and Emporia areas. We apologize for any inconveniences the busy signals you received over the last few weeks may have caused.


Friday, March 3, 2000


Surf for Free!

Mecklenburg Communications Services, Inc., has partnered with a national marketing firm to offer our customers FREE Internet access. The marketing firm has agreed to reimburse our customers their monthly Internet fee if they agree to pay a one-time activation fee of $9.95 and complete a short survey each month (via the Internet). The survey should only take 10 to 15 minutes of the customer's time. You will be reimbursed your monthly Internet fee through the credit card of your choice. Once you have paid your activation fee - you will not be required to pay any other activation fees, even if you do not complete the survey every month. So, signup for this special offer and pay your Internet bill to Mecklenburg Communications Services as usual...and each month that you complete the survey you receive a credit. It's just that easy!

How do I sign up?
Simple - click on the 'Never pay for Internet access again!' link below. This link will take you to a membership signup screen which will prompt you for your name, address, email, etc. Then you will be prompted for credit card information which will be used to charge your initial $9.95 activation fee** and your reimbursements of your monthly Internet access fee once you have completed each month's survey. That's it...now you can enjoy the Internet for FREE!!
** You MUST Select INTERNET SERVICE PROVIDER as your reference and then enter this code: 1018MCS. If you do not enter this code - you will be charged $12.95.
Should this happen - send me an email and I will arrange for a $3 credit to your credit card. My email is

NOTE
Your email address will not be sold to other companies. Your email address is only used to identify you as one of our customers.

Friday, March 3, 2000


Referral Fees

Mecklenburg Communications is now offering a referral fee of $10 to any of our subscribers that refer our service to their friends.

It's easy - just complete the information below and ask your friends to write they were referred by you on their application. Once they have signed up with us and have paid their first month's Internet service bill - we will credit your account with $10! We appreciate your help in making our family grow! .


Thursday, March 2, 2000


News Server Down

The firm we contract with to offer news services to our customers notified us that their server went down today for a brief period. We apologize for any inconveniences this may have caused.


Monday, February 28, 2000


ATTN: ALL KENBRIDGE SUBSCRIBERS

We have installed the new lines for the Kenbridge area. We apologize for any inconveniences the busy signals you received over the last few weeks may have caused.


Tuesday, February 8, 2000


ATTN: ALL GRETNA SUBSCRIBERS

We have installed the new lines for the Gretna area. We apologize for any inconveniences the busy signals you received over the last few weeks may have caused.


Friday, February 4, 2000


ATTN: ALL SUBSCRIBERS USING AN EMAIL ACCOUNT WITH @MSINETS.COM

There has been some confusion for all of our subscribers who have email addresses reflecting @msinets.com. As we promised when we purchased msinets.com - you DO NOT need to change your email address. Your msinets.com email address is an alias of a meckcom.net email address. This means anyone who sends mail to you at yourusername@msinets.com - their mail will be dropped into your real email box of yourusername@meckcom.net.

Our new mail servers have been setup this way so you would not have to change your email address. When mail is received by our mail server - it looks up your alias address and then places your mail in your meckcom.net box. During the process, depending upon how the mail was sent to you, the system may convert your email address on the received message to reflect the meckcom address. This is only done on your computer. The email address that appears on all messages that you send out is determined by what you have entered in your email software as your reply address. If you have entered the msinets.com address - then that address will appear to everyone you send messages to.

We hope this is not too confusing; however, should you have any questions, please give us a call.


ATTN: ALL SUBSCRIBERS USING AN EMAIL ACCOUNT WITH @MECKCOM.NET

If you are not receiving email messages - please check in your email software to see if your username is followed by -0019.

You can find this setting under 'tools' then go to 'accounts'. Once you have opened this screen - click one time on your mail setting and then click the properties button. Once the properties have opened - go to the 'servers' screen and look down about 1/2 way to your account name and password. If you still have the old login reflecting -0019 - please remove the -0019 then click OK. Close out the accounts window so you are back at your normal window for email. Click your 'send and receive' button and you should retrieve all messages waiting for you.

We hope this isn't too confusing; however, should you have any questions, please give us a call.



Wednesday, February 2, 2000


NEW SERVERS

We have completed the move to the new servers and experienced some email problems with DNS entries taking a longer time to catch up with the move through Internic. We feel we have solved most of the problems and apologize for the problems you may have experienced. If you are still having problems with email - please contact us so we can resolve them.


PERSONAL WEB PAGES

What to do if you currently have a personal web page on our system or would like to have one (www.meckcom.net/~yourusername or www.msinets.com/~yourusername)

If you want to update your page or you can not view your page - you will need to ftp to www.meckcom.net using your username and password then upload all your files into the public_html file in order for the web page to show on the Internet.

Here are basic instructions:


1.   Using WS-FTP - for the host name server - enter www.meckcom.net

2.   Your login - use your username and password that you use to access the Internet

3.   If a public_html file does not show up on the right hand side (our server) - push the mkdir button and create a file folder called public_html.

4.   Once this is created, then you can transfer your files into that folder and it will then be published on our web.


You would access your personal web page with the address - http://www.meckcom.net/~yourusername. If you have questions or problems with this transfer - give our tech support a call at 1-888-575-9401.


ADDING NEW DIAL-IN LINES FOR OUR SYSTEM

New lines are being installed for the following areas: Blackstone (24 new lines); Chase City (24 new lines); Clover (24 new lines); Emoria (24 new lines); Gretna (24 new lines) and Kenbridge (24 new lines). The lines have been ordered; however, we have not received installation dates from the local telephone companies but have asked them to escalate the installation.

Mecklenburg Communications Services uses a 6 to 1 ratio method in determining how many lines are needed to serve each area. This ratio is lower than most Internet providers use - most use 8 to 1 or even 10 to 1. When our load reaches 85% capacity - we order 24 new lines to be installed. All of the above new installations were ordered before we reached the 85% capacity.

Due to the bad weather we have been experiencing for the last few weeks, our sites have been filling up more than normal with all of the children home from school as well as adults. We apologize if you have received busy signals and we want to assure you that we are working to relieve these busy signals by placing the order for new lines before the 85% capacity is achieved.


ATTN: KENBRIDGE SUBSCRIBERS

Kenbridge area users - as you know, we have been experiencing a lot of problems with dropoffs, no authentication, etc. in this area. We have been filing complaints with Sprint to fix the circuit that was causing all of these problems. Sprint finally agreed to stress test the circuit. The stress test was performed between 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 1. Sprint found where they had an inproper setting and removed that setting. Since the setting has been removed, the circuit has been running fine with no errors ever since Tuesday, February 1 at 11:30 a.m.




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