It’s taken 36 hours, but Optus has finally issued an explanation for what caused Australia’s biggest outage that cut off more than 10 million customers across the country.
Optus released a statement at 4.57pm which included an apology from Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin and news that post-paid consumer and small business customers will have access to 200GB of extra data from Monday November 13 until the end of the year.
Eligible pre-paid customers will also be given unlimited data on weekends until the end of 2023.
So this means there will no monetary compensation for the thousands of small businesses that couldn’t process payments during the outage and collectively lost millions of dollars around the country.
“We’re deeply sorry for yesterday’s outage. We know how important connectivity is to all our customers, and that we let you down,” Ms Bayer Rosmarin said in a statement.
“We truly appreciate our customers’ patience and understanding as we worked to restore our operations yesterday.
“We know that there is nothing we can do to make up for yesterday and what customers want most is for our network to work all the time – which is our number one priority – but we also want to acknowledge their patience and loyalty by giving them additional data to help during the holidays, when so many people consume more data with friends and family.”
And what caused the outage?
The Optus statement says: “In common with major global telecommunication networks, the Optus network is designed with multiple layers of fall back and redundancy.
“At the heart of this is a modern intelligent router network developed with the world’s leading vendors.
“Despite this, a network event yesterday triggered a cascading failure which resulted in the shutdown of services to our customers.
“Our engineers are investigating thoroughly, and we will learn from this outage and continue to improve.
“We welcome, and intend to cooperate fully with, the Government investigations.”
Tech Guide, after hearing from several sources, revealed this data routing issue yesterday afternoon – 24 hours before Optus released this still vague official explanation.
Optus had been heavily criticised for not revealing the cause of the outage yesterday.
The company has also been copping flack for Kelly Bayer Rosmarin’s failure to front the media and communicate with its customers more than six hours after the outage began.
In the wake of last year’s data breach and yesterday’s catastrophic outage – it seems the thing Optus is really good at is saying sorry.
The company is also very appreciative – it has said many times how much it appreciates our patience.
Unfortunately a large chunk of their customers has run out of that patience and have defected to other networks.
Yesterday at the height of the outage there were lines down the street outside Telstra and Vodafone stores.
Vodafone had even sent a press release yesterday pointing out how fast it would be switch to the telco and transferring accounts using an eSIM which would take minutes.
Kogan Mobile reported a 400 per cent increase in eSIM activations than a regular day as Optus customers were switching.
Kogan Mobile even added a cheeky offer of 60 per cent off the price of the plan for the first month.