IN BRIEF |Optus is experiencing a major outage in QLD and northern NSW due to simultaneous network failures. According to reports, a fibre link between NSW and QLD was damaged at the same time as a hardware failure occurred on the redundant path.
The outage is affecting all services, including Internet, mobiles and landlines. Many businesses including telcos, ISPs and others that rely on connectivity are also suffering as a result.
Some ISPs are reporting 1PM as a possible restoration time.
This resulted in the total or partial loss for Optus, VodaPhone and 3 mobiles, internet and telephony services. Since many other ISPs and carriers use (in all or part) of the Optus interstate links (such as iiNet) also suffered from the outage which lasted from 8am this morning until just after 1pm today.
The electronic check-in and baggage handling systems at Brisbane’s international and domestic terminals went offline, delaying flights for up to an hour.
Major banks and hospitals were also affected but the 000 number was not. Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital spokeswoman Kieran Keyes said the Optus outage had minimal impact on the women’s and children’s hospital.
While errors like this are incredibly rare, it does highlight how weak the nation is to possible attacks to our telecommunication infrastructure. If the government owns none of the telecommunication network, and the telcos are unable to reach peering and fail-over agreements, then the country could suffer a total communications blackout with only a handful of targets needing to be hit. Since the government is unable to mandate security with the telcos and with Telstra now being fully privatized, how can the government control and secure the networks in times of crisis?
The fact that some public services were effected at all, shows that this is a major national security problem which needs addressing. Taking down the communication network of a country like Australia, should in our age of technology, be a near impossibility.