Telstra suffered another major network crash

Telstra is spending $250 million to make its network more reliable.

Telstra was hit by yet another network outage yesterday, just 24 hours after CEO Andy Penn promised $250 million to improve reliability and denied the problems were any worse than usual.

The breakdown lasted for several hours as the last day of the financial year came to a close, leaving a number of businesses struggling without communications or the ability to complete sales.

Fairfax Media reports a number of major companies were hit by the outage, including retailer Myer, which could only take cash sales between 1.30pm and 8.30pm

NAB, Officeworks, The Good Guys, Medibank, Monash University, Jetstar, Simply Energy, ME Bank, hospitals and even Melbourne’s public transport card, myki, were among the companies affected.

The problem was resolved by 8.30pm last night.

Victoria was hardest hit, with the company saying the fault overloaded traffic in part of the state’s enterprise IP network in the state. But the damage this time was to businesses relying on fixed-line systems.

Even Sensis, the marketing services company Telstra has a minority stake in, was unable to take inbound calls, and White and Yellow pages customers were left unable to view their accounts.

Telstra once again apologised to customers for the outage. It has yet to announce compensation plans.

Jetstar passengers in Melbourne faced delays between 2pm and 4.30pm. Electorate offices of MPs preparing for Saturday’s election suffered an internet blackout and Labor’s Melbourne campaign HQ was also hit by the Telstra problem.

On Wednesday, Telstra boss Andy Penn said the telco was prioritising $250 million from the company’s existing capital program to improve network resilience and performance over the next six to 12 months.

The funds will be split between $100 million for “improving reliability and resiliency within the core network”, $100 million on additional ADSL capacity, and the $50 million previously announced in May for improved resilience and recovery times for the mobile network.

Major national mobile network outages earlier this year saw Telstra compensate customers with two “free data” days.

“I want to assure you that I am committed to doing everything we can to strengthen our network for you,” Penn said in announcing the plan.

“All network operators around the world face the risk of disruptions whether they be the consequence of weather, accidental damage, hardware or other failures.”

“What I am committed to though is continuing to invest in building the durability and capability of our network, and in our ability to respond quickly if things do go wrong to minimise the impact on customers.”

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