The first 5G Optus tower is seen in the suburb of Dickson in Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia, 31 January 2019 (issued 01 February 2019). EFE-EPA FILE/MICK TSIKAS AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND OUT

Millions affected by telecom outage in Australia

Sydney, Australia, Nov 8 (EFE).- Millions of people and thousands of businesses across Australia on Wednesday were left without mobile and internet service after an outage struck the country’s second largest telecommunications company, Optus.

“Our teams are working urgently to restore services. We will provide updates as soon as possible. We apologize sincerely to our customers,” Optus said on X.

The outage has affected some 10 million people – more than 38.4 percent of Australia’s population -, as well as some 400,000 businesses and government offices, which have been unable to make or receive calls, send texts or access the internet since early Wednesday.

The rail network of Melbourne, Australia’s second most populated city, announced early Wednesday on X that its trains had been stopped due to a communications outage, which has also affected hospitals, ambulances and health services across the country.

More than eight hours after the outage, Optus said that “some services across fixed and mobile are now gradually being restored.”

“This may take a few hours for all services to recover, and different services may restore at different sites over that time,” it added.

While Optus has not confirmed the cause of the outage, Australian Communications Minister Michelle Rowland told reporters in Sydney that it had occurred because of a “deep fault” within the company’s networks.

“This is a deep fault, it has occurred deep within the network. It has wide ramifications across mobile, fixed, and broadband services,” she said.

Earlier, Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin told public broadcaster ABC that the company did not believe that the outage was due to a cyber attack.

“It is highly unlikely, our systems are actually very stable,” she said. EFE