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Govt to scrutinise Optus post-outage with review

Govt to scrutinise Optus post-outage with review

Claims the review will be done “most expeditiously”.

Credit: Optus

The federal government is to look into the Optus outage that affected millions of Australians yesterday by way of a post-incident telecommunications review.

The impact of the outage was labelled “particularly concerning” by the Minister of Communications Michelle Rowland in a statement and instructed her Department to kick off the review by developing the terms of reference.

While no other details about the review have been provided at this stage, Rowland said on ABC Radio National that there will be at least three elements – understanding the technical nature of the fault, how it could have been mitigated and if the findings can be extrapolated and applied to other telcos.

Additionally, she said on the television network Nine Network's Today Show program that the review will be done “most expeditiously”.

Rowland also wrote that the Australian Communications and Media Authority has started its own assessment to see whether Optus complied with emergency call rules to ensure they were successfully carried from mobile carriers to the Emergency Call Person, that being Telstra.

The announcement from the Minister comes a day after Optus’ network went down at 4 am on 8 November and gradually restored a number of fixed line and mobile services after the nine-hour outage. 

The nine-hour outage hit swathes of customers across Australia, including those in the public sector, banking, and public transport industries, as well as small businesses. 

The outage also caused some customers to experience difficulty connecting triple zero calls on mobile phones – hence ACMA’s assessment. 

“We reiterate our apology to customers for the nationwide service outage that has occurred this morning,” an Optus spokesperson said during the restoration process yesterday. “Some services across fixed and mobile are now gradually being restored. This may take a few hours for all services to recover and different services may be restored at different sites over that time.” 

According to the website DownDetector, users started reporting issues around 4 am on Wednesday 8 November. The website said that 63 per cent of outages reported were affecting mobiles, with users unable to make or receive calls and texts, while 21 per cent reported mobile internet services were also down.   

Around 17 per cent of those affected reported landline issues. Optus subsidiaries Moose Mobile, Coles Mobile, Spintel, Southern Phone, Dodo and Amaysim were also affected. 

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Tags optusfederal governmentDepartment of Communications

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