Yeah, nah: Optus is down nationally – and six hours later, the telco still doesn’t know why

- November 8, 2023 2 MIN READ
But sometimes, it doesn't start. Image: Optus
More than 10 million Optus business and personal customers across Australia have lost communications on Wednesday morning across Australia, leaving them without internet access or the ability to make or receive calls, with several telcos using the Optus network also offline

The problems, which are believed to have started around 4am, have effected everything from 000 emergency calls to hospitals, public transport systems, banks and retailers, as well as providers such as Coles Mobile, Dodo, Amaysim and Aussie Broadband.

Optus CEO Bayer Rosmarin used Meta’s chat app WhatsApp to speak with ABC Radio Sydney about the outage this morning, apologising for its impact,

“We’re really, really apologetic and sorry that our connection has gone down today, the teams are working with huge effort to try and restore services as a priority. And we’ll keep working on that until everybody’s back in action,” she said.

“The mobile network and that network is down, but there are some customers still able to get the Optus Wi-Fi and connect that way.”

Rosmarin said they’d yet to establish what as causing the problem by there was “no indication that there’s anything to do with cyber at this stage”.

“We have had issues since 4am. The team has tried a number of parts of restoration so far we have not had the results that we have hoped for. And we’re pursuing every avenue to get everybody back online as soon as possible,” she said.

Presenter Sarah Macdonald asked: “Do they know what happened though? Who’s there? The team that you’ve got working on it?”

The Optus boss said: “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. So we’re still working on it. And when we have an identified root cause and a time for restoration, we’ll be updating everybody as soon as we can.”

Rosmarin said triple zero calls will not work from an Optus landline, but will work for mobile calls if another carrier is available.

Federal communications minister Michelle Rowland held a media conference on the Optus outage saying she understood there was a fault deep in the core.

“The core network basically encompasses everything from routing to electronics. So it is a fault that is quite fundamental to the network,” she said.

“But my understanding, having just recently spoken again to the CEO, is that a number of problems have been identified, and that Optus continues to work on this.”