Telstra ADSL network crashes

Widespread problems with Telstra Corp. Ltd.'s ADSL (asymmetric digital subscriber line) network disrupted the service over a 15-hour period Friday.

All ADSL sessions in New South Wales, South Australia, Australian Capital Territory, Western Australia and Tasmania were disconnected at 10pm on Thursday and new users were blocked from logging on.

Problems persisted for more than three hours although many customers who made repeated attempts to log on might have been able to reconnect, a Telstra spokesperson said.

Telstra believed it had rectified the situation however the same problem surfaced intermittently on Friday between 1pm and 5pm.

The fault was traced to an interface board and suppliers would be working through the weekend to prevent further interruptions, the spokesperson said.

Telstra was concerned the initial problem had recurred on equipment with built-in reset intelligence, she said.

The outage comes at a particularly embarrassing time for the carrier, which is in the midst of a major national advertising campaign promoting its broadband offerings.

Sources close to the situation blamed the lapse on interface problems between equipment from different suppliers.

Specifically, they sheeted it home to an interface glitch between a service management center product sourced from Alcatel SA and a Shasta Networks Inc. server.

The Shasta system, manufactured by a Nortel subsidiary, has been a constant source of irritation for network technicians, the sources claimed.

A recorded message on Telstra's help line ascribed the outage to "network complexities."

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