iiNet email outage caused by software bug

A software bug caused iiNet's email outage, with the resulting high number of calls to the contact centre then bringing down that system.

TPG-owned telecommunications provider iiNet has provided an update on its Wednesday morning outage across its email and contact centre services, saying the email outage was caused by a software bug on the storage controllers.

"Yesterday at approximately 7am AEST, iiNet's email infrastructure experienced intermittent operational issues, which affected the email service," iiNet said in a statement on Thursday afternoon.

"Email was partially restored at 2.35pm AEST.

"The root cause of the email problem was a software bug on the storage controllers. A patch from the vendor was supplied to overcome the bug, and all email was 100 percent operational at approximately 6.30pm AEST."

The email issues then resulted in so many calls to the contact centre that services were rendered "inoperable".

"iiNet experienced an influx of calls which had a direct impact on iiNet's PABX voice system used to provide phone support. The high volume of calls put the geographical diverse PABX system in an inoperable state," the telecommunications provider said.

"iiNet's voice engineering team were able to restore the system to 100 percent functionality by 7.45pm AEST."

Consequently, iiNet has put in place measures to prevent the system from losing its operational capacity again.

"iiNet has deployed additional protection mechanisms to ensure that future scenarios will not render the PABX voice system inoperable.

"We apologise to our customers for the email delays experienced and their inability to call our support centre for assistance. We have additional resources on board to catch up and provide additional support to customers following yesterday's incidents."

It did, however, point out that broadband services and regular voice calls were unaffected during the outage.

Virgin Mobile also experienced an outage within the last day, with customers on the network complaining of being unable to make voice calls on Thursday morning. Virgin restored services quickly, although it said users may have to restart their phones in order to make calls.

Virgin, which wholesales Optus' 4G network, said the issue only affected some of its customers, with those users to be credited their access fee for the day in reparation.

"The network issue experienced by some of customers this morning is now resolved, but customers may have to turn their phone off and on again to access the network," Virgin said in a statement.

"We sincerely apologise for the loss of service; we know how important it is to be connected. We will be thoroughly investigating the issue, and will be crediting all affected customers their access fee for the day today."