Partial Network Outage: Incident Review

10 Nov 2023 10:42 incident-review

At approximately 08:45 on November 10th, 2033, there were network connectivity issues on my home network. This is the incident review.

tl;dr: foxes


  • My home network has a Synology RT2600ac router, with 3 Synology MR2200ac mesh points (wired backhaul) called “Kitchen”, “Office” and “Loft”.
  • “Office” is a garden office; it’s connected to the main house over a pair of Ethernet cables that run along the fence a foot or so above the ground.


All times are in UTC.

November 10th

  • 08:45: I noticed that my Electric Imp “environment tail” (which monitors temperature and humidity in my office) hadn’t reported any readings since approximately 9pm the previous evening.
    • I assumed it was a connectivity problem with the device itself.
  • 08:50: Went into the office and rebooted the sensor.
    • Noticed that it was reporting failure while getting the IP address, which implied a problem with the router.
    • Looked at my phone, noticed that I was connected to 4G, rather than Wifi.
  • 08:55: Went back into the house to check the router.
    • All the blinkenlights were blinken, so the router itself seemed OK.
    • Phone reconnected to Wifi.
    • Checked the “DS Router” app on my phone. The “Office” access point was down.
    • Grafana showed that my K3s cluster was still connected to the network.
  • 09:00: Rebooted the office access point.
    • It did not reconnect.
  • 09:05: Realised that the office access point is the only thing currently connected to the second ethernet socket in the office.
    • Moved the connection to the switch connected to the other ethernet socket.
  • 09:07: Connectivity was restored.


  • 10:45: Well, there’s your problem:

Foxes have dug under the fence and damaged one of the Ethernet cables running between the house and the office. This is just at the point where the cable crosses from the fence to the office, so it’s lying on the ground.

Fortunately, they’ve only damaged one of the cables, and fortunately (for the foxes) it’s not the power cable (40A is a bit spicy).

It turns out that the Ethernet cables are not armoured. The power cable is chonky enough that it probably is. I’m going to check the electrician’s invoice.

Root Cause Analysis

  • The cables shouldn’t be lying on the ground. That’s just asking for trouble.
  • We had the rear fence replaced about a week ago.
    • Prior to that, the foxes would get into the garden through a gap where the old fence wasn’t attached properly.
    • So they got into the garden by digging under the side fence.


Looks like I’m going to need to:

  1. Lift the cables away from the ground at this point.
  2. Splice in a new connection.
  3. Somehow weatherproof the splice.

Alternatively, consider armoured trunking and/or burial.

In terms of the foxes:

  1. Backfill the hole under the side fence.
  2. Cut a “fox hole” (not an actual “foxhole”) in the back fence, so they’re not tempted to dig under the side fence.