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Banking chaos amid Optus outage

An Optus outage has caused widespread disruptions and havoc across Australia after a prolonged outage.

Frustrated Australians on the Optus network woke up to chaos on Wednesday (8 November), unable to access banking services, the internet and public transport networks amid a national Optus outage.

Optus experienced one of its most extensive outages in history, leaving hospitals, businesses, transport networks and other government services in chaos, impacting millions of Australians.

According to Downdetector, Optus outages were first reported around 4am before peaking at over 8,000 reports just before 6am.

Optus responded to the outage stating: We’re aware of an issue impacting Optus mobile and nbn services and are working to restore services as quickly as possible.

“We understand connectivity is important and apologise for any inconvenience caused.”

The network had been restored by Wednesday evening, with Optus stating at 8:30pm "most services should now be back online".

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"Some customers may need to restart their device or turn flight mode on then off," they added.

"Some NBN connections may not be restored as yet. We are investigating customer complaints. Please try restarting your modem by turning it off, unplugging it for 30 seconds, and restarting.

"Our people are doing their best to respond to your concerns."

The impact

The outage created significant delays for commuters, affected health services and disrupted online banking.

A estimated 10 million people were impacted.

Communications Minister Michelle Rowland expressed the nation’s frustration, stressing the importance of Optus being transparent and timely in finding a solution.

“Optus needs to make sure they step up and communicate with people,” Ms Rowland said.

“What we do know is that this is a deep fault. It has occurred deep within the network, it has wide ramifications across mobile fixed and broadband services for Optus customers.

“It also means those customers are being impacted by the inability to make calls or use their services.

She stressed this included calls to 000 emergency services. However, the service known as ‘camping on another network’ is being activated.

“It’s important for businesses to keep receipts should any recourse be available to them,” Ms Rowland said.

She added the “government stands ready to provide any assistance that is necessary”, including keeping consumers updated on their rights under regulations.

The National Broadband Network was “working correctly”, but Optus’ broadband network was impacted, she said.

The major banks have all been impacted by the outage, posting notes to their customers on social media.

The Commonwealth Bank said “our call centres are unable to receive calls”. However, its ATMs, NetBank, CommBank app, branches, CommBiz and merchant terminals are still available.

“You can still get in touch via the CommBank app or online banking, but there may be delays,” Commonwealth Bank said.

Westpac said: “We are unable to take some calls at this time.” However their branches, chat, mobile and internet banking services are still up and running.

ANZ stated the nationwide outage “may be affecting customers trying to contact us”.

“We apologise for any inconvenience. The ANZ App, ANZ Plus app, ANZ Internet Banking, Message Us and ATMs continue to be available during this time, ANZ said.

However, a NAB spokesperson said that they are “not seeing any impact to NAB services as a result of the Optus network issue”.

“Of course, where a NAB customer uses the Optus network, they may see some of their services impacted,” NAB said.

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