Many Optus customers are reporting the network is coming back online after the biggest mobile network outage in the country’s history with 10 million people affected and hospitals, businesses, transport and Triple Zero all affected.
In an alarming update just before 11am, Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin acknowledged the telco still doesn’t know what is behind the catastrophic outage that continues to affect millions of Aussies
The outage was first reported at 4am on Wednesday with Optus mobile users unable to make or receive calls and texts, with the internet network and home broadband also down.
In an alarming update just before 11am, Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin acknowledged the telco still doesn’t know what is behind the catastrophic outage that continues to affect millions of Aussies.
She said the team was still working on the cause, adding there was nothing to suggest it was the result of a cyber attack.
‘We will do everything we can to get services back,’ she told ABC Radio Sydney via WhatsApp.
‘The teams are trying many different angles and we will not rest until the service is back up for our customers.
‘The team has tried a number of parts of restoration and so far we have not had the results that we have hoped for. And we’re pursuing every avenue to get everybody back online as soon as possible.’
Ms Bayer Rosmarin also said the blackout was unlikely the result of an early morning software update.
‘I mean, it’s highly unlikely, our systems are actually very stable. This is a very, very rare occurrence,’ she said.
‘We’re really, really sorry that this outage has occurred and we’re working to restore services for our customers as a priority.’
Just before 6am, there had already been almost 9,000 reports of outages made with Optus – a number that has since dramatically escalated as Australians wake up and try and go about their days without internet or phone calls.
In a disturbing development, the telco warned Australians that Triple Zero calls made from an Optus landline will not work – which would affect a small number of Australians. Triple Zero is working as normal across the country.
‘We encourage any customers who need to contact emergency services to use a mobile line to call 000,’ Optus said.
‘Optus can confirm that Triple zero (‘000′) calls will not work from an Optus landline (fixed line telephone). Mobile calls to 000 will work if another carrier is available.’
Pictured are where Optus users have reported the network blackout
Melbourne’s train network also shut down earlier on Wednesday, leaving many commuters stranded.
It’s believed this was a result of the Optus outage. Metro Trains have since confirmed services have resumed but major delays are expected.
Uber prices have also surged as many drivers are forced offline due to the blackout.
Other carriers that use the Optus mobile network like Amaysim, Vaya, Aussie Broadband, Moose Mobile, Coles Mobile, Spintel, Southern Phone and Dodo Mobile are also down.
Communications Minister Michelle Rowland held a press conference after 11am and said she understood the problem to be a ‘deep fault’ in the system.
‘The core network basically encompasses everything from routing to electronics,’ she told reporters.
‘So it is a fault that is quite fundamental to the network.
‘But my understanding, having just recently spoken again to the CEO, is that a number of problems have been identified, and that Optus continues to work on this.’
Ms Rowland said it is still too early to begin discussions about compensation or consumer rights, but added affected customers should document evidence.
She said the government is ready and willing to assist Optus and customers as best they can.
Is Australia under attack by hackers?
Federal Communications Minister Michelle Rowlands said she was yet to receive an update from Optus but it appeared to be a ‘deep and significant’ network problem.
‘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 Wednesday.
‘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.’
– Australian Associated Press
Melbourne’s Northern Health district said their hospitals’ phone lines had been impacted.
‘All phone lines into Northern Health campuses are currently being affected by an Optus outage,’ they said.
‘This includes phone lines into Northern Hospital Epping, Broadmeadows Hospital, Bundoora Centre, Craigieburn Centre, Kilmore District Hospital, and Victorian Virtual Emergency Department (VVED). We apologise for any inconvenience.’
Sydney’s Westmead Private Hospital is experiencing the same issue.
‘Due to the national outage of Optus all our phone lines are unfortunately down, to contact the hospital, please email us on admissions,’ the hospital said.
St Vincent’s and the Mater hospitals are also impacted.
The Sydney Airport, the Australian Tax Office, NRMA and big banks such as Commonwealth and ANZ have also experienced issues, as have eftpos machines linked with Optus in businesses.
One carer in Melbourne said they weren’t able to call an ambulance after their patient suffered a cardiac arrest.
‘I had to run out on the street and borrow a phone from someone walking his dog,’ they told ABC Radio Melbourne.
Another Optus user said his wife, who is a specialist doctor supervising kidney transplants, was also unable to make any calls.
The outage was first reported at 4am on Wednesday with Optus mobile users unable to make or receive calls and texts, with the internet network and home broadband also down
Even snake catchers are suffering the fallout, with Stewy the Snake Catcher from Wyndhamvale, Melbourne, announcing he’s also offline.
‘We are aware of a major outage across the Optus network, and I myself am with Optus,’ he said.
‘We apologise in advance if you try to get through to us this morning and are having trouble. Hopefully they rectify the issue asap.’
Electric vehicle drivers are also having trouble, with some being told charging sites are down.
‘We wanted to let you know that some of our sites are temporarily unavailable due to an ongoing Optus outage. We understand this may affect your experience, and we’re working diligently to resolve the issue,’ a message from the Evie charging network read.
‘We are actively monitoring the situation and working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible.
‘We’ll keep you updated with any developments. For real-time updates, be sure to check our app regularly.
‘Thank you for your patience, and we appreciate your understanding during this unexpected outage.’
One Optus customer was so desperate to be able to work, she posted a job on Airtasker to have a SIM card delivered to her for $150.
State police authorities have both informed residents the outage will not affected 000 calls.
The telco earlier said it was aware of issues affecting some customers.
‘Optus is aware of an issue that may be impacting some of our mobile and internet customers,’ a spokesperson said.
‘We are currently working to identify the cause and apologise for any inconvenience.
‘In case of an emergency, customers can still call 000.’
In a follow-up statement, the telco said their teams were ‘working urgently to restore services’.
‘We will provide updates as soon as possible. We apologise sincerely to our customers,’ they said just after 8.30am.
EFTM technology expert Trevor Long said it was the ‘biggest telco outage’ in Australia.
‘To have the mobile and home broadband down at the same time means if you’re an Optus family, you are without communication this morning,’ he told 2GB.
‘There’s literally no way of communicating if Optus is the only communications into your home on your home broadband and mobile phone, which would definitely be a big chunk of those customers.’
Mr Long said there had been little communication from Optus, and a potential hack would be something they are looking into.
The blackout could also be down to a broken cable, an IT failure or an upgrade failure, the expert added.
Many Optus users vented their frustration online
Many Aussie Optus subscribers have shared their frustration online, with some only able to make SOS calls.
‘How is it possible that the entire country could have no #optus? I have no phone coverage at all,’ one tweeted.
‘What is going on with #Optus this morning. Woke up and phone not working. No email or Comms from the company either. Poor form,’ said another.
‘Cool, thanks to Optus, the second I leave the house today I will have no reception or data service on my phone. Let’s hope no customers have any emergencies today,’ another said.
One Aussie worker said he couldn’t access Microsoft Teams as his phone was needed for authentication.
Optus has 10.2million users across the country.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk