update Queensland-based customers of Optus and several other telcos were suffering service outages this afternoon due to what the SingTel subsidiary suspected was a break in an optical fibre cable north of Coffs Harbour.
iiNet's status page
iiNet, which uses Optus backhaul carriage in some areas, listed a "major" fault affecting the state this afternoon, and customers of mobile carriers such as 3 Mobile were also complaining of service outages online.
An Optus spokesperson confirmed the company was investigating a suspected fibre break, which they said was affecting 3G mobile data services in rural areas in Queensland, but not voice calling or SMS messages. Brisbane and the Gold Coast were unaffected, they said.
"Optus apologises for the inconvenience," the spokesperson said, noting technicians were on their way to the site and that the problem was expected to be fixed by 6:00pm, Sydney time.
Later this afternoon the Optus spokesperson said Optus 3G services had been restored at 2:35pm.
The outage adds to other issues Optus suffered in Queensland last year; in July the state lost internet, voice and mobile services due to pipe-laying contractors cutting a cable at Molendinar, west of Surfers Paradise.
The cut occurred as the inland route at Stanthorpe, through which traffic normally would have been re-routed, was down due to a hardware fault. At the time it incurred the wrath of state premier Anna Bligh.