Australia’s Major Telecommunication Network Goes Offline After Software Update Malfunction

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Australia’s second-largest telecommunications provider, Optus, recently experienced a nationwide outage that disrupted mobile phone and internet services for millions of customers and businesses. The outage affected various services relying on Optus, including Aussie Broadband, Dodo, and Amaysim. This article delves into the details of the outage, its impact on customers, and the efforts made to resolve the issue.

The outage had significant implications for both individuals and organizations. Mobile phone users were unable to make or receive calls, and mobile internet services were down. Perhaps most concerning was the fact that Triple Zero emergency calls could not be made from an Optus landline fixed-line telephone. However, mobile calls to 000 would work if another carrier was available.

Just before 6 am on Wednesday, disconnection reports were increasingly alarming with almost 9,000 people lodging complaints of their service failures using Downdetector.

As complaints from across the country continue to pour in, many customers said they are unable to start their workday due to connection issues.

The Root Cause of the Outage

On its website early on November 8, Optus said its engineers were investigating a network fault impacting customers. In a statement posted on X (Tweeter), Optus said: “We understand connectivity is important and apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

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Optus has yet to determine the exact root cause of the outage. Federal Communications Minister Michelle Rowland suggested that the fault may lie “deep in the core” and be “fundamental to the network.” While the cause remains unknown, Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin assured officials that her team was actively working on identifying and rectifying the problem.

Michelle Rowlands said:

“I can’t speculate at this time about whether or not this is something to do with some sort of cyber hack,” she told 2GB Radio on November 8.

“All I do know is that it is impacting on Australians, that customers do want to know what is going on.

“I would urge Optus to get that information out through any channels that are possible and to do that as a priority.”

“Connectivity is essential for Australian consumers and businesses. The impacts of this outage are concerning and has left many Australians feeling anxious,” she posted to X on November 8.

“The Government has sought further information from Optus about this development & when they expect services will be restored.”

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Government Monitoring and Customer Communication

The outage prompted government agencies to monitor any issues arising from the disruption. Michelle Rowland’s office constantly communicated with Optus, urging the telecommunications company to be transparent and timely in its customer updates. The need for information was emphasized, as consumers required updates to plan their lives and daily activities.

Efforts to Restore Services

Optus engineers immediately commenced investigations into the network fault impacting customers. The company acknowledged the importance of connectivity and apologized for any inconvenience caused. Despite their best efforts, however, Optus struggled to restore services promptly.

Impact on Public Services

The outage had a ripple effect on various government services. Access to crucial health services, including Service NSW call centers and phone lines across Northern Health’s hospitals, was affected. Additionally, ACT government services, such as Access Canberra contact centers and health service phone lines, experienced disruptions. Public transportation services, including Melbourne train services and the ACT bus network, were also impacted.

Disruption for Commonwealth Bank Customers

Commonwealth Bank customers encountered issues with call centers, but other services such as ATMs, NetBank, CommBank app, branches, CommBiz, and merchant terminals remained unaffected.

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The Effect on Individuals and Businesses

The outage caused significant frustration for individuals and businesses alike. Many customers lodged complaints about their inability to start their workday due to connection issues. Police in Castle Hill, NSW, urged drivers to exercise caution on the roads, as access to navigation devices like Google Maps, Waze, and Apple Maps was disrupted.

https://twitter.com/_shanmoho/status/1721981811210002437

Tech Report by Obinna Ejianya (9News Nigeria – Melbourne, Australia)

Source: DA Australia

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