- The network outage began at 4:05 am and was caused by a “deep fault” in Optus’ network.
- Up to 10 million people, as well as businesses, hospitals, and banks, were affected.
- Landline customers could not call triple zero (000), but mobile users could reach the emergency line.
Some Optus mobile and internet services are gradually coming back online for a portion of the millions of affected customers due to today’s extensive outage. However, it is expected to take several hours before the network is fully restored. Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin mentioned that the company currently has no clear understanding of the root cause of the outage that disrupted the network earlier in the day but reassured that a solution is in progress. She stated, “The good news is that we have a plan to restore the entire network, and we are progressively bringing it back online.”
While some areas have seen their services return, Optus customers have been unable to make calls or access mobile data since around 4 am today. In an update issued shortly after 1 pm, Optus indicated that it would still take a few more hours for services to be fully restored. A spokesperson expressed their apologies for the nationwide service disruption and added, “Some services, both fixed and mobile, are now gradually being restored. It may take some time for all services to recover, and different services may come back online at varying locations over that period.”
Regarding compensation for affected users, Bayer Rosmarin mentioned that Optus would address this matter once services were fully operational again. She expressed her sincere apologies for the inconvenience caused by the outage. Some Optus Mobile customers reported their phones displaying “SOS” on the signal indicator, indicating that their regular network was unavailable, but they still had access to alternate networks for emergency calls. Communications Minister Michelle Rowland confirmed that the Triple Zero emergency service’s fallback, known as “camping,” was functioning. However, Optus landlines did not have access to the same technology, and the telco received reports of mobile customers experiencing difficulties contacting the emergency number. Users were advised to use alternative devices for emergency calls.
The outage was attributed to a “deep fault” within the network. Rowland noted that Optus had not provided a timeline for resolving the issue and urged the network to be transparent and timely with its updates for customers. There was no indication that the outage resulted from a cyberattack, a stance previously taken by the Department of Home Affairs. The government was committed to ensuring continued access to emergency lines for Australians.
While several government state and federal agencies were monitored for the impact of the outage, specific ones were not disclosed. However, it was reported that Australians were unable to contact the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) and the Department of Home Affairs due to the outage.
Rowland mentioned that it was premature to discuss potential reparations for affected customers but encouraged small businesses to retain their receipts for the duration of the disruption. Connected networks like Dodo and Amaysim were also affected, and there were reports from Optus Home Broadband customers stating that their NBN connections were down, indicating a deeper issue within the Optus network.
Commonwealth Bank warned customers that they might experience difficulties contacting or receiving messages from the bank, including NetCode messages. It suggested messaging through the CommBank app, but there might be delays. Other services like ATMs, NetBank, CommBank app, CommBiz, and merchant terminals remained available, and apologies were extended for any inconvenience caused.
Rowland, in a previous interview with 2GB radio, described the situation as a “deep and significant problem” affecting both broadband and mobile services. She emphasized the need for Optus to provide regular updates to the public. Tech expert Trevor Long predicted that the outage’s ripple effects could make it the most significant recent telecoms outage, impacting businesses that rely on Optus for payments and communication.
The Optus website indicated that its engineers were investigating a network fault. In the hours following the outage, the network communicated with concerned customers, apologizing for any inconvenience and assuring them that the issue was being resolved.