Telstra outage: 'Embarrassing human error' to blame

Today's Telstra outage occurred due to human error in handling a mobile node going down, the COO has disclosed.

Telstra chief operating officer Kate McKenzie has provided detail on the nationwide Telstra outage, saying "embarrassing human error" was to blame for 2G, 3G, 4G, National Broadband Network (NBN), ADSL, and PSTN services being down across the country.

"Absolutely apologise right across our customer base, this is an embarrassing human error," the COO told journalists.

"It's not OK, we do not like causing that level of inconvenience to our customers, and we are working very quickly right now how we can provide some free data to our customers to make up for the inconvenience that's been caused to them today."

The human error occurred when the correct procedure was not followed after one of the telco's 10 mobile nodes was taken down.

"The outage was caused when one of our major mobile nodes went down," a Telstra spokesperson said.

"The network is configured to manage this; however, in this instance, we had issues transferring customers to other nodes, which caused congestion on the network for some customers.

"Services have now been restored, with the vast majority of our customers now back online. We thank customers for their patience and apologise for the inconvenience caused."

McKenzie added further detail: "We've got 10 of these nodes across the company ... basically, they are a piece of equipment that ... run in pools, so that enables us to be able to manage traffic and connections for both voice and data around the whole country across the pooled environments.

"So normally, we could take down three or four of those nodes and do work on them, fix them up, and it would have no impact, but on this occasion the correct procedure was unfortunately not followed, and the flow-on consequences you can see."

The outage occurred around midday, with the telco saying it was working on determining the cause and the resolution of the outage.

According to McKenzie, services have now been restored, and Telstra is looking to make it up to customers.

"We do take this very seriously, and we've been focused all day on doing absolutely everything we can to get the services up and restored as quickly as possible," McKenzie said.

"We'll certainly be talking to our business customers and understanding the details of any impact that's been caused and you know we'll be open to whatever it takes to ensure our customers don't suffer any more convenience."


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