WiKarekare has gone from strength to strength this year, consolidating our past experiences to achieve a reliable, fast network. Traffic is balanced bettween the two ADSL lines, now both max/max; nominally 3Mbits down and 512Kbits up (performance being closer to 2Mbits/350Kbits). This is probably a limitation of the exchange, or the link to the city. Reports indicate traffic on the outside network is a probable strong factor, especially from the observed pattern of fluctuations over the year e.g. during school holidays!

Load sharing has been enhanced with the progressive installation of Frottle (a "fairness" protocol) on individual user routers. Once in place, we will have less issues with the connections to sites with weaker connections and with sites with a lot of traffic, biasing the availability of the network. This important issue needs resolving.

The front page of the Wikarekare site shows the results of tests performed on the network every 3 minutes. The ADSL routers' state is retrieved, and the connection state on the web page is altered to reflect the state of the ADSL ppp connection. Each router in the network is ping'd as are the ADSL routers, Orcon, and the University. If a ping fails, this is displayed under the Network Notices ADSL status lines. The long term aim, is to record all such outages, and be able to graph the response times. This will help in diagnosis of reported problems. It proved at once immensely useful.

The monthly stats are now automatically generated, a day after the billing period end on the 22nd. This means excess usage can be regularly monitored and charged out.

Both our UPSs have been replaced. The older (donated) units had a very large battery capacity, which could carry them through a long power outage. The new one for the servers (plus routers) has a standard battery, and only gives about 15 to 20 minutes to failure. The other, supporting the ADSL routers plus others, lasts longer, the power drain being significantly less. The new UPSs do have better power conditioning capabilities though, smoothing spikes and brown outs from the battery (the old ones only switched over if the power failed).

We were invited to make a full application in February 2006 for the $5000 Digital Strategy funding applied for in December 2005, suggesting a successful outcome. Our application was to introduce a dedicated backbone to carry traffic between the relay sites. These will be separate from the distribution routers providing the delivery to the end user sites. It will create a dedicated path for backbone traffic to the back haul point, removing the delays inherent in the current architecture. End user sites will then get the full Internet speeds from the back haul. A request from Waitakere City Council to link our proposal with theirs for adjacent rural areas seemed logical to us at the time.