Telstra voice services impacted by high number of calls to government agencies

Around 3 to 4% of all voice calls are congesting.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor
Man using his Mobile Phone in the street, bokeh
Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

The fallout of Australians rushing to sign up to government services as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the planet has created congestion in Telstra's voice network.

"When trying to place a call on our network, you may have heard a message about congestion. Due to the growing number of people working from home, we're seeing congestion impacting 3-4% of calls on our mobile network," the telco said on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon.

"Most of the congestion is being driven by the high number of calls to Government 13 and 1800 numbers. There is no impact on data usage at this stage."

The telco said it was working with Optus to quickly upgrade interconnects, which is also contributing to congestion.

"Yesterday we made good progress to improve things in the short term, which has allowed us to manage the higher call volumes," Telstra said.

"We know this is frustrating. Thanks for your patience in what is a challenging time for us all.🙏"

Yesterday, Minister for Government Services Stuart Robert declared the myGov portal was hit by a distributed denial of service attack, before backtracking hours later to state that it was merely 95,000 people trying to connect to myGov that triggered a DDoS alert, and not an attack at all.

Must read: The people of Australia are a DDoS machine that the government cannot handle 

Telstra begins offering NBN satellite connections to business

Earlier on Tuesday, Telstra announced it had begun to make use of NBN's satellites to offer connectivity to business customers.

Through its Virtual Internet Service Product, the telco will offer variable peak information rate bandwidth profiles of 30/1Mbps, 30/5Mbps, and 13/13Mbps with a potential data cap of 1TB.

The telco touted its 45 years of working with satellites, as well as its integration of what it is calling Telstra NBN Satellite Services into its suite of satellite services. Those services, besides offering satellite connectivity as a first option, can be used as a point-to-point backup service, and allow customers to have Telstra as a single point of blame.

Telstra has access to over 60 C, Ku, and Ka-band satellites with teleport facilities in Sydney, Perth, Hong Kong, and partner sites in Europe and the United States.

Launched at the last quarter of 2019, NBN's business satellite service was recently contracted by Vocus to help provide connectivity to the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.


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