ANN ARBOR — Merit Network Inc., Michigan’s original Internet service provider and a supplier of high-speed Internet connections to universities, schools, government and other institutions, says it has repaired a connectivity problem that lasted about five hours Wednesday morning.

Merit announced that just before midnight Tuesday, its Network Support Center “began receiving alerts and phone calls from Merit Members reporting that they were experiencing problems connecting to the Internet.”

Merit staffers then began analyzing the problem, and determined that it was an issue with one of Merit’s core router-switches in Chicago — specifically, “a packet forwarding problem in the way the packets were being handled on one of our key core routers.”

Traffic was then immediately moved to a different path and different equipment. Merit has multiple 10 gigabits-per-second connections to the commercial Internet and was able to move the traffic to other paths that have capacity to handle the traffic load.

Merit said its engineers are reviewing the logs and events leading up to the problem. Once they are able to gather the information Merit will work with the equipment vendor to determine if it was a hardware or software problem on the core router.

Connecting to the greater Internet was fully restored and operational as of 4:52 a.m. Eastern time Wednesday.

Merit said that once its engineers are able to determine the cause of the problem, a more detailed report will be sent out to its members.

Merit Network, a nonprofit corporation owned and governed by Michigan’s public universities, owns and operates America’s longest-running regional research and education network. Merit provides high-performance networking and IT solutions to Michigan’s public universities, colleges, K-12 organizations, libraries, state government, healthcare, and other non-profit organizations

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