Australia disconnected from the world
On October 4, 2023, Optus, one of Australia's largest telecommunications providers, experienced a widespread network outage that affected millions of customers across the country.
The outage caused widespread disruption, affecting mobile phone calls, text messages, internet access, and even emergency services.
While we don't know what caused Optus outage, there are indications that it may be related to the same issue that brought Facebook down in 2021.
Optus Help Twitter/X account has shared this right after the outage:
We're aware of an issue impacting Optus mobile and nbn services and are working to restore services as quickly as possible. We understand connectivity is important and apologise for any inconvenience caused.
— Optus Help (@optus_help) November 7, 2023
What caused Optus outage?
The 2021 Facebook outage was caused by a configuration change that disrupted the Border Gateway Protocol (BGP), which is responsible for routing internet traffic between different networks. This disruption caused Facebook's servers to become unreachable, resulting in a global outage that lasted for several hours.
According to preliminary reports, the Optus outage may have also been caused by a BGP routing issue. This suggests that the two outages may have shared a common root cause.
However, it is important to note that Optus has not yet confirmed this link, and further investigation is needed to determine what caused Optus outage.
Optus compensation and eligibility
Optus has announced that it will compensate affected customers for the outage. The company has not yet released details of the compensation package, but it is expected to include credits on customers' bills.
Optus chief executive Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said the telco would look into the issue of compensation for millions of customers once services were restored.
Customers who are eligible for compensation include those who experienced the following during the outage:
- Loss of mobile phone service
- Loss of internet service
- Inability to make or receive calls
- Inability to send or receive text messages
- Inability to access the internet
To file an Optus compensation:
- Gather evidence: Before contacting Optus, gather evidence of the outage. This could include copies of mobile phone bills, screenshots of error messages, or notes recording the duration and extent of the outage
- Contact Optus customer service: Contact Optus customer service through their website, live chat, or phone call. Be prepared to provide your account details, including your name, phone number, and account number
- Explain the outage: Not depending on what caused Optus outage, clearly explain the extent of the outage you experienced. Mention the specific services affected, the duration of the outage, and any impact it had on your ability to communicate or access essential services
- Provide evidence: Share the evidence you gathered in step 1 with the customer service representative. This will help support your claim and ensure you receive the appropriate compensation
- Await compensation: The customer service representative will process your claim and inform you of the compensation you are eligible for. This may include bill credits, service plan extensions, or other forms of compensation
Read also: Equifax data breach claims are extended.
While we still don't know what caused Optus outage exactly, there is one thing certain: telecommunications providers need to take steps to protect their networks from cyberattacks, such as BGP hijackings. Customers should also be aware of the potential for outages and take steps to prepare, such as having a backup plan for communication and internet access.
Featured image credit: Optus.Advertisement