Victorian government to review Optus ‘relationships’ after outage

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Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan says the state government is reviewing its relationships with Optus after the telco’s outage on Wednesday halted the Melbourne train network and blocked phone services at 11 hospitals.

The national outage caused chaos on Melbourne’s transport network on Wednesday and left expectant mothers unable to contact their hospitals, as some businesses were also prevented from conducting transactions.

Millions of Optus customers were affected by an hours-long outage on Wednesday.Credit: Chris Hopkins

“We will work with the federal government as they undertake their review,” Allan told reporters on Thursday morning.

“And also, as a government, we will be undertaking our own review of the processes and the responses that were undertaken yesterday. Because it was incredibly disappointing.”

The government has contracts with 23 telecommunications services providers, including Optus, she said.

“The Department of Government Services that’s responsible for the oversight of these contracts is also going to undertake its own review of both Optus’ response and where we can see further improvements that can be made, we’ll look at making them,” Allan said.

“[That review] will look at all the relationships that Optus has with the Victorian government and look at their response to yesterday’s incident.”

Allan said the disruption was distressing for affected customers, adding that the telco needed to do better to provide an important service to the community.

Metro Trains said a problem linked to the Optus outage prevented the control centre from communicating with trains on the network and stopped them from running shortly before 5am.

“Our engineers worked quickly to rectify the issue, and we were able to resume trains shortly before 6am,” Metro Trains chief executive Raymond O’Flaherty said, apologising to passengers for the delays.

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