Friday, 13 May 2016 01:40

UPDATED: 13/5 - Another Telstra outage on Friday the 13th May 2016? Featured

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Reports on Twitter suggest Telstra suffered DNS problems with its ‘primary business DNS servers’ - while Telstra’s service status suggests even more problems.

An iTWire colleague mentioned late last night yesterday that ‘Telstra networks down AGAIN… Shocking year for them…’.

This was last night, Thursday 12 May, a day before one of the most ominous dates on the calendar - Friday the 13th - in this case, of May 2016. 

Morning of 13 Friday 2016 UPDATE:

A Telstra spokesperson kindly got in contact with me this morning to state that: “There was an issue with one of our DNS servers last night which impacted some of our corporate customers only. It was resolved in 90 minutes.

“The cause was an issue with a module in one of our servers and once discovered that server was disabled and traffic moved to another server.”

The spokesperson also advised that problems on the service status page generally have no customer impact as they are, for example, working on parts of a tower where overlapping coverage from other towers ensures customers aren’t affected, and presumably why this means Telstra's service page only alludes to 'some customers.'

To me, that’s also clearly the reason why there was no general or widespread reports of issues on Twitter, or any general widespread issues last night or this morning, and it's good to know. 

So, while the DNS issue was real for some people last night, Telstra did fix it quickly once discovered, and I do thank Telstra’s spokesperson for clearing things up this morning!

Original story is below:

While the Telstra 4G network is working perfectly well for me at the moment, a quick search on Twitter for Telstra showed a few other people suffering similar problems last night.

1. Paul Judge, of user name ‏@Paul_Judge in Brisbane, Queensland said: “@Telstra another DNS outage? Really!?! This is what you charge a premium for!?!”

2. Another used called Hosko, Twitter name ‏@cyclinghosko said in response to a user called TheBlip: “@theblip @Telstra @SkyNewsAust Major failure again at Telstra - Primary business DNS servers dead.”

3. In reply to a Beyond Blue (@beyondblue) notification that its website was down, Robert Pascale of user name ‏@turbo_pascale said: “@beyondblue it's not just you. Lots of people affected. Seems to be a Telstra DNS issue.”

4, The aforementioned TheBlip ‏user @theblip said: “@Telstra Your ns0 and ns1 Telstra dot net nameservers / Custdata DNS are down atm. Not resolving domains :(“

5 User Fredescu of ‏@Fredescu said: “@Telstra are there issues with DNS servers ns0 and https://ns1.telstra.net ?”

6. Simon Kline of username ‏@simon_kline said: “is there another @telstra dns outage?????”

Then there’s Telstra’s official Service Status page, which lets you type in a suburb or post code so you can see what interruptions are happening in your local area. 

Typing in Canberra ACT as the location bring up info that there are five current interruptions.

These are that:

For Account Management we see that: ’Some customers may be unable to view or change their account details,’ which start on Thursday 12 May at 10:15am and has a TBC ‘end’ time.

For Pre-Paid we see: ‘Some customers may experience difficulties accessing or using Pre-paid services,’ starting 7.00pm on Thursday 12 May, with an end time of Monday 16 May at 11pm.

This is followed by an SMS interruption for some customers that started on Thursday 12 May with a TBC end time.

Telstra TV is Canberra also has info that ‘some customers may experience difficult viewing Telstra TV services, starting on May 9 at 1.34pm with a TBC end date.

Typing in ‘Sydney NSW’ in the service status location area, I can see ‘Current Interruptions’ for ‘some customers’ on Broadband Cable, Foxtel, 2G, 3G, 4G, Mobile, NBN Data, Account Management, NBN Voice, Pre-Paid and SMS.

All of these service interruptions for ‘some customers’ all started at various times on Thursday 12 May.

What about Melbourne? Please read on below.

Typing Melbourne VIC into the Service Status location box brings up a ‘current interruption’ for ‘some customers’ in the areas of PSTN, TIPT (Telstra IP Telephony), 2G, 3G, 4G, Mobile, Account Management, Prepaid and SMS, all of which started at various times on Thursday 12 May.

Many of those items don’t have an estimated fix date until May 24, 2016.

So… something strange is happening for at least some of Telstra’s customers, although there doesn’t appear to be a huge hue and cry about it on Twitter. If outages continue or get worse, we’ll see plenty more about this on Friday the 13th of May - an ominous date!

If the issues truly are more serious that appears to be the case from only a handful of twitter complaints thus far, let’s hope Telstra’s technicians are hard at work to fix the issues.

If not, Telstra is then simply makin’ it easy for you, if one of the ‘some customers’ affected, to be frustrated with the giant Australian company and its services yet one more time in 2016!


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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