8 November 2023

Optus outage affects millions across the country

| Lizzie Waymouth
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“Our engineers are currently investigating a network fault that is impacting Optus Mobile and Fixed customers. We apologise for any inconvenience caused,” Optus said. Photo: File.

Optus services have been down across the country since early this morning, affecting millions of customers.

The outage has affected essential services and businesses across the ACT that rely on Australia’s second-largest telecommunications provider.

According to DownDetector, reports of outages began at around 4 am and spiked at about 5:45 am.

“We’re aware of an issue impacting Optus mobile and NBN services and are working to restore services as quickly as possible. We understand connectivity is important and apologise for any inconvenience caused,” Optus said.

The outage has also affected other companies using the Optus network, including Amaysim, Aussie Broadband, CatchConnect, Coles Mobile and Dodo.

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Federal Communications Minister Michelle Rowlands said she had not received an update from Optus, but the network issue appeared “deep and significant”.

She told ABC Radio Sydney this morning she would be “reluctant to speculate” whether the outages are due to a cyber attack.

At a press conference later in the morning, Ms Rowlands said it is vital Optus is as transparent as possible to its customers.

“From the outset, I reiterate that it is vital for Optus to be transparent and timely,” she said.

“In the update that it is giving to customers about the nature of the fault, its impacts and its possible rectification, it is essential that we have that timeliness and the transparency [in] what is a vital part of our infrastructure and services in this country. That is, access to telecommunications, mobile broadband, as well as fixed-line services.

“It has wide ramifications across mobile, fixed and broadband services for Optus customers. It also means that for those customers, they are being impacted by the inability to make calls or use their services.

“They have assured us that they are working as quickly as possible, but I reiterate that it is important for Optus to keep customers updated, and in a timely way, because this is precisely the questions that customers are asking.

“My understanding is there are a number of government agencies that are being monitored for the impact on them. They include state and federal agencies.”

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Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin told ABC Radio Sydney the company has tried “a number of paths of restoration to bring its mobile and internet services back online”, but so far “we have not had the results that we hoped for “. She said it was “highly unlikely” the outage was caused by a cyber attack, as this is a “very, very rare occurrence”.

“Our team is still pursuing every possible avenue. We had a number of hypotheses and each one so far that we’ve tested and put in place new actions for has not resolved the fundamental issue.”

Customers with Optus mobile phones can still make emergency calls in coverage areas from other mobile providers. Emergency calls are connected through any available carrier (Optus, Telstra, Vodaphone).

Original Article published by Lizzie Waymouth on Riotact.

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