April 5, 2002 – A misunderstanding between two mainland companies, Network Solutions Inc. and OnePaper Inc., caused the V.I. Source newspapers to be off-line to many persons seeking to access the pages between Wednesday night and early Friday morning.
V.I. Source had no control over the situation. OnePaper provides the template for hundreds of publications across the country, including St. Thomas Source, St. John Source and St. Croix Source. Their server is in Florida.
Connection between OnePaper and Network Solutions, which registers domain names and has responsibility for pointing the OnePaper domain name to the appropriate server, was broken, causing a rolling shutdown of the Source sites.
"It was very confusing," Shaun A. Pennington, V.I. Source publisher, said. "I lost contact with my sites around 9:30 Wednesday night. I happened to be on the telephone with our editor, Jean Etsinger, who uses a different ISP (Internet Service Provider), and we both went down at the same time."
However, Pennington said, other people elsewhere, both in the territory and elsewhere, still had access, an indication that the problem was not with the OnePaper server. But as the hours passed, they, too, lost contact.
"One of our avid off-island readers e-mailed me minutes after we went down asking what happened," Pennington said. "I couldn't tell him — or, for that matter, any of the other people who contacted us. In previous interruptions, we have known almost immediately what the problem was, but this time we didn't."
No clear-cut answers were provided until late Thursday afternoon, when Pennington was able to verify the communication breakdown between OnePaper and Network Solutions.
"It was frustrating, but it's over, and I am sure that particular kind of problem won't happen again," Pennington said.
Publisher's note : Like the St. John Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.