November 8, 2023
Australia’s second mobile network operator suffered a lengthy outage, which affected infrastructure as well as individual subscribers.
Communication from Optus, which reportedly suffered a complete network outage for around 12 hours earlier today, has been limited. The only information we could find on its website were a few updates claiming incremental restoration of services. Possibly most damaging for Optus is the concession that people can’t even use the 000 emergency services number on its network.
Here’s the first update. The most recent one was at 6:32pm, claiming the network had been restored.
Wednesday, 8 November 1:30pm
Some internet and phone services are gradually being restored.
This may take a few hours for all services to come back on line and different services may restore at different sites over that time. No action is required and services will be automatically restored.
We are aware of some mobile phones having issues connecting to 000. If Optus customers need to call emergency services, we suggest finding a family member or neighbour with an alternative device.
We apologise to customers for the nationwide service outage that has occurred this morning.
Australian media has been highly critical of Optus. The Sydney Morning Herald noted that the outage ‘crippled transport systems, hospitals and government departments across the country’. Meanwhile, the Heral Sun is framing it as ‘the biggest telco outage in Australian history’ and noting that Optus customers ‘will likely not get any compensation, according to the company’s top brass.’ Headline of the day goes to the Australian, for ‘Communication failure as Optus opts out’.
It’s probably a bit early to expect information about the cause of the outage, but incidents like this are very rare, so something exceptional must have happened. It comes a year after Optus suffered a massive cyber attack that exposed the personal data of over 2 million customers. Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin has been doing the media rounds, pleading for patience, but the knives seem to be out for her, so her eventual explanation had better be world class.
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