Optus denies bandwidth shortage claims

Optus has hit back at claims that its broadband service, OptusNet, has run out of international bandwidth, saying the article printed on technology news Web site Whirlpool is "greatly exaggerated".The Web site quoted a "confidential source" from within the company who said customers had been complaining that the "network has slowed to a crawl since the 30th of August", decelerating to 10Kbps from its normal premium speeds of 200-400Kbps.

Optus has hit back at claims that its broadband service, OptusNet, has run out of international bandwidth, saying the article printed on technology news Web site Whirlpool is "greatly exaggerated".

The Web site quoted a "confidential source" from within the company who said customers had been complaining that the "network has slowed to a crawl since the 30th of August", decelerating to 10Kbps from its normal premium speeds of 200-400Kbps.

According to the source in the article, the sluggish connection can be blamed on a lack of international broadband bandwidth, which was in undersupply due to a miscalculation by product managers.

However, a spokeswoman for OptusNet today said "some OptusNet users may have experienced congestion or isolated incidents of slow speeds in the past week when accessing international websites", but she adds "we have only received a handful of calls complaining of a slow connection".

The spokeswoman claims that a few users might have experienced a slow connection, but she states "only after 6pm and only on international sites".

"The problem was not as widespread as it was made out to be," she told ZDNet Australia   today, adding that "additional capacity is coming out next Tuesday as well".

The spokeswoman said that the "isolated incidents" of slow connections will be "permanently rectified with the additional capacity".

The Whirlpool article also claimed additional bandwidth takes "six months to be activated" as it comes from "international transit carriers", yet the OptusNet spokeswoman said this is also an exaggeration.

"It does not take the additional capacity six months to be activated," the spokeswoman claimed, however, she said she did not know how long it does take.

The spokeswoman also said the extent of the occurrence "would be dependent on several variables including: time of day, day of week, site being accessed, where the user is located and type of application being accessed".

She adds that the incidents of slow connection may also be attributed to increased usage typical at the beginning of the month.

"At the start of the month there's usually a peak in usage and so this could be the reason behind the slow connection," she said.

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