Saturday, 21 May 2016 14:13

Telstra outages continue over weekend


Three days of sporadic outages — now extended to four — in voice and data on NBN, data on ADSL, Telstra Internet Direct, its prepaid and recharge services down, MyAccount, and Telstra Wi-Fi off the air meant that May was not a very merry month this year.

Yesterday (Friday) iTWire reported on the three days of outages. It ended by saying, "What is clear is that good old fashioned voice — PSTN — is still working as Telstra call centres are flooded with complaints. It's ironic that its digital Omni channel policy is preventing more users from venting their spleen."

While the current service status for Sydney indicates all these are "restoration completed’" there are a lot of "planned maintenance" items scheduled for the next few days – 2, 3, 4G services, data storage, broadband cable, DDN (digital data network), and BDSL (business DSL).

Aussieoutages, however, show all was not well. It showed that the majority of NBN and ADSL services were working by around 4am on Saturday morning (when we should have all been asleep, anyway), and issues started ramping up again at 7am – the live outages map showed a little less "red" than previously. At 2100 (9 pm) on Saturday evening, Telstra was still experiencing widespread issues.

Tweets — many lacking location data — indicate that services are still not working everywhere, with many indicating they have not had ADSL or NBN in particular since last Wednesday. Perhaps these sum up the mood.

Albion QLD has not had any internet since Friday 6 am to Saturday afternoon (1.30pm) and made numerous calls to Telstra. Waiting to speak to someone is at least 50+ mins. If I hear the recording one more time from Telstra "Go onto our website" I think I will scream. “Telstra we DONT have the internet you Idiots...

Still no internet here in Cronulla NSW 2230.... but according to Telstra website it has been fixed. I am paying for a service which you are not providing. What about looking after your customers?

The key messages are that it is not fixed, and people expect compensation. The underlying message is that four outages on a supposedly premium network in as many months is not acceptable, and people will look at alternatives – if they can get them!

The irony of this is that this happened just as Telstra’s chief executive Andy Penn (speech here) praised his network before an esteemed business group – "Telstra has the best networks in Australia. When a telecommunications company focuses itself on quality, it is a long-term play, and there is a handful of those networks around the world. Telstra is one of those".

He went on to say it would improve its network by spending $25 million upgrading monitoring tools and another $25 million speeding up recovery time. While no network operator in the world can guarantee that disruptions won’t occur from time to time, what we can do is reduce the likelihood and the impact.

Perhaps Penn was praising Telstra’s marketing network, not its technical expertise.

Telstra PR — usually astute — needs to improve and let people know of the cause and expected resolution. From what I can see, this has not been the case for the past four outages. It even blamed human error for the clusterf* a few months ago. Business and consumer confidence in this so called premium network — well premium price anyway — has been decimated.

It issued a statement (summarised) on Friday evening, 20 May at 2020.

"Following disruption to some NBN voice and data services and ADSL services today, all services were restored just before 7 pm EST this evening. The issue is extremely complex, but in simple terms, there was a fault with the device that manages the interaction between our network and all of the different types of customer modems. We understand this has been frustrating for affected customers, and we will be providing them with some additional data."

News Corp Australia reported that a leaked internal Telstra memo showed the outage affected up to 350,000 NBN voice and data customers in NSW, South Australia, Queensland and Western Australia and 25,000 ADSL customers in South Australia and NSW.

Update: 21 May, 2130: The following has appeared on the Telstra Services web site sometime duiring Saturday. It is not good enough!

Telstra NBN and ADSL service interruption

Most NBN and ADSL services were restored yesterday evening. However we are aware that a small number of customers are still experiencing difficulties connecting to the network. These are residual issues preventing re-connection to the network that we're working to resolve as quickly as possible.

"During this time we ask customers to keep their modem connected and powered-on and not reset it as this can cause further complications.

"We will continue to provide updates as progress is made and thank all those customers still impacted for their patience and apologise for the inconvenience."


Update: Sunday 22 May 1600:

Aussieoutages still show issues.

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Ray Shaw

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Ray Shaw  has a passion for IT ever since building his first computer in 1980. He is a qualified journalist, hosted a consumer IT based radio program on ABC radio for 10 years, has developed world leading software for the events industry and is smart enough to no longer own a retail computer store!

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