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Since yesterday morning Vickie and I have been unable to access certain sites that we regularly frequent. Whenever we attemp to browse to them, our browsers sit trying to load, only to be told that "The page cannot be accessed." or "The operation timed out when attempting to contact".

We had a fossick with our system settings, but nothing seemed to work. So I decided to be a little clever and run a traceroute. For those of you who don't know it, it's a program you access via the Windows command prompt. Like the ping command, it measures the time taken to get from your PC to another system. Traceroute (or tracert), though, actually lets you know every router that the Internat packet sent by your PC passes through along the way to its destination. Each site that we couldn't visit seems to go through one particular set of routers before it comest to a screaming, "Response Timed Out" halt, and those routers all belong to sprintlink.net. None of the sites we can get to route through Sprint servers.

Now, it may well be that it's not the Sprintlink servers that are the problem; after all, the servers are responding to the traceroute. If that's the case, then it's the router the Sprintlink servers route Internet traffic to as standard that's causing the problem. On the other hand, it may actually be one of Sprintlink's servers that's down. Because the problem server can't respond, I can't know which it is.

Either way, Sprintlink/Sprint should know what's going on, especially if it's one of theirs (if not, their servers would have a record of where they normally route traffic to). I'm trying to find an e-mail address for them at the moment.

But if anyone works for them, or knows someone who does, can you let them know there are a couple of irate Australian users who want their Internet back, please?

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