Auckland Cup outage prompts investigation

Biggest racing day of the year hit by outage

The Auckland Racing Club is trying to quantify losses incurred by a circuit outage that hit the club’s biggest racing day of the year on March 4, featuring the $1 million Auckland Cup.

Voice and data services were lost around 3pm during upgrade work between the Ellerslie race course and the Remuera exchange. Subsequently, the race programme had to be put back 45 minutes.

Club secretary Chris Weaver says eight minutes of betting time were lost leading up to race five. “That meant a lot of people were not able to get their bets on. I still can’t quantify it, but I think we lost probably $40,000 to $50,000 [in turnover].

“We moved to mobile back-up, but that added one to 1.5 seconds to the transaction times. Multiply that by 120 terminals and there was probably some cost there.

“We also had to extend the hospitality packs by 45 minutes and pay the extra time for staff.”

New Zealand Racing Board CIO Glenn Myers says the board contracts Telecom/Gen-i to deliver its telecommunication services.

“On-course services are provided via fibre optic cable that is delivered to the demarcation point on course.”

Contingency plans include a secondary data circuit failover and also a tertiary failover.

In Auckland’s case, on-site technicians deployed mobile EFTPOS terminals and a back-up CDMA solution to restore the totalisator system. CDMA connects via Remote Office to the TAB’s Jetbet application in Petone.

A Telecom spokesperson says a full review has been initiated.

Weaver says the good news was that Gen-i had a corporate hospitality tent on course and senior managers were able to get the technicians “on the job” quickly.

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