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Telstra offers another 'free data' Sunday after its second outage in a month

Photo: Getty Images.

Australia’s biggest mobile network went down last night for the second time in a month.

According to the telco, a problem triggered a significant number of customers to be disconnected from the network, and attempting to reconnect them caused congestion.

The connection problem started overseas, impacting international roaming customers, which Telstra says then had a flow-on effect domestically.

Andrew Penn ‘takes responsibility’. Supplied

CEO Andrew Penn addressed the media this morning and said that, like the first outage, the disruption was a result of human error.

“I take accountability…One outage is not good enough. Two is not acceptable,” he said.

“I know today how much you rely on the network.

“I’m sincerely sorry to all of our customers.”

The issue, which affected half of the network, started at around 6pm and it wasn’t until around 7.30pm that the telco started to see progressive restoration.

Aussie Outages, a website which offers a realtime overview of status information and outages for all kinds of services, recorded Telstra’s down time.

Photo: Aussie Outages.

While the major outage meant most customers were unable to access anything at all, including emergency services, Telstra said because the issue was “sporadic” different people were impacted at different times.

It took around four hours to reconnect everyone back to the network.

Here are all the places that were affected.

Photo: Aussie Outages.

As it did with the first outage, Telstra will be offering customers “free data” to make up for the incident. It has been scheduled for Sunday, April 3.

During last month’s free data Sunday Australians downloaded the equivalent of one copy of Kanye West’s new album each — that’s 1,841 terabytes of data in 24 hours.

A spokesperson for the telco said the issue is not related to the outage that occurred in early February.

“The problem that repeated itself was in people reconnecting to the network,” they said.

“Following the last event we commenced a major process and engineering review of the network, which includes global network experts, to understand how it occurred, and while the two incidents are not related, we will add the lessons learned from this incident to that review.”

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