Doctors and carers who have been unable to call emergency services due to Optus experiencing one of the biggest outages in Australian history.
The outage was first reported at 4am on Wednesday with Optus mobile users saying they are unable to make or receive calls and texts, with the internet network and home broadband also down.
The Optus outage is also impacting the country’s medical system, with some staff unable to use the phone in life-threatening situations.
One carer explained he was unable to call an ambulance for his patient who was suffering from a heart attack.
‘One of my patients had a cardiac arrest, I couldn’t call an ambulance,’ he told ABC radio on Wednesday morning.
‘I had to run out on the street and borrow a phone from someone walking his dog.’
Optus customer and anaesthetist Daniel said he was on-call overnight for emergency operations when he noticed the network was down.
‘I was unable to make phone calls or use the internet,’ Daniel told the Sydney Morning Herald.
Another Optus customer told 2GB radio his wife began to panic when she realised her phone was not working.
‘My wife is a specialist doctor who supervises kidney transplants… The panic set in when she realised her phone was out of service,’ he said.
He added she was unable to be reached because of the network outage.
The outage is also affecting communication with hospitals, with Sydney’s Westmead Private Hospital reporting their phone lines are down.
‘Due to the national outage of Optus all our phone lines are unfortunately down, to contact the hospital please email us on admissions.WMP@ramsayhealth.com.au,’ the hospital wrote on Facebook.
The Austin Hospital, in Melbourne’s north-eastern suburbs, confirmed workers are unable to make external calls due to the Optus service being down.
‘Austin Health is experiencing telecommunication issues that we believe is a result of the Optus outage,’ An Austin Health spokesperson told The Guardian.
‘We are currently unable to receive phone calls from external numbers, however our internal systems are functioning meaning patient care is not impacted.
Meanwhile, Melbourne’s Northern Health District said all phone lines into its hospital campuses have been affected.
‘This includes phone lines into Northern Hospital Epping, Broadmeadows Hospital, Bundoora Centre, Craigieburn Centre, Kilmore District Hospital, and Victorian Virtual Emergency Department (VVED),’ the health district wrote on Facebook.
‘We apologise for any inconvenience.’
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 Optus blackout.
Optus is experiencing a nationwide outage with millions of customers impacted, with doctors and carers unable to use the phone in emergency situations
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.
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 are 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.
The telco said it was aware of issues affecting some customers but is yet to explain the system failure.
‘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.’
Pictured are where Optus users have reported the network blackout
Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said the company is yet to provide answers as to what has caused the outage.
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 said a potential hack would be something they are looking into.
The failure 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.
Optus has 10.2million users across the country.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk