SYDNEY (Bernama-dpa) — A total outage of Australia’s second-largest mobile phone provider Optus has paralysed the telephone and internet connections of more than 10 million people on Wednesday, reported German news agency (dpa).
Since the early hours of the morning, customers across the country have been unable to make calls or go online, Australian media reported.
According to a report by the broadcaster 9News, this is the largest telecommunications outage in the country’s history. In a statement published by the company at midday, it said that it would probably take hours for the network to be restored.
“Well, the good news is that we have a path to restoring the whole network, and so we’re bringing it up progressively as we speak,” Optus managing director Kelly Bayer Rosmarin told the Sydney radio station 2GB.
“This is a very unusual occurrence and as soon as we understand exactly what happened, we will be forthcoming with details,” she said.
It was unclear what caused the outage, but the authorities ruled out a cyber attack.
Internet, mobile services and connections to some government departments were interrupted, including telephone connections to hospitals and emergency services.
On its website, Optus advised customers who needed to call emergency services to find a family member or neighbour on a different network who could help them.
The outage caused chaos in public transport networks in some cities and the failure of mobile payment systems.
Optus is Australia’s second-largest telecoms service provider after Telstra. Just last year, the company made headlines when hackers stole sensitive data from millions of Australians in an attack on the Optus system.