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Optus outage not related to cyber incident, according to telco’s CEO

While Optus cannot say what has caused the nationwide outage, the company is pretty sure what hasn’t triggered the disruption.

user icon David Hollingworth
Wed, 08 Nov 2023
Optus outage not related to cyber incident, according to telco’s CEO
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After Optus’ nationwide phone and broadband networks had been down for hours, Optus chief executive Kelly Bayer Rosmarin fronted the media, explaining that the company is so far unaware of the cause of the outage or when a solution may be found.

Rosmarin has so far ruled out a cyber attack being behind the outage, however.

“There is no indication that there is anything to do with cyber at this stage,” Rosmarin said when asked if an attack could be the cause.


“Our systems are actually very stable, we provide great coverage to our customers, and this is a very rare occurrence. And when I have more information about the root cause, I will be the first to let our customers know.”

Optus phone and internet went offline at around 4am on 8 November, impacting individual customers, businesses, and essential services such as emergency phone lines, hospitals, and fire services. Despite 24/7 network monitoring, Optus engineers remain at a loss as to how to fix the problem.

“Our team is still pursuing every possible avenue,” Rosmarin said in another interview. “We had a number of hypotheses, and each one so far that we’ve tested and put in place new actions for has not resolved the fundamental issue.”

Communications Minister Michelle Rowland held a press conference soon after Rosmarin’s and was asked if the company had “learnt anything” since last year’s cyber attack and data breach.

“I think that is a matter for Optus to answer,” Rowland said.

“The most important thing here is that consumers will be making judgements about the quality of service that they receive in a competitive market.”

The Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman has released a statement on the unprecedented outage.

“If you have contacted Optus and you are unhappy with the response, you can make a complaint with the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman,” the statement read.

“If you have not contacted Optus, or you have been unable to contact them, we can forward your complaint to Optus on your behalf.

“We can help you with refunds for the time you have been unable to use your service, compensation claims and disputes about your contract.”

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth

David Hollingworth has been writing about technology for over 20 years, and has worked for a range of print and online titles in his career. He is enjoying getting to grips with cyber security, especially when it lets him talk about Lego.

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