Telstra suffers ADSL, cable failures

Telstra is in crisis mode in Australia after the failure of both its ADSL service and the US-China undersea cable it uses.

          Telstra is in crisis mode after the failure of both its ADSL service and the US-China undersea cable it uses 105 kilometers off the coast of Chong Ming, China.

          The problems are causing havoc for Telstra's early-adopter ADSL customers who have endured several days of intermittent service despite being promised a reliable service.

          ADSL is one of the more expensive high-speed Internet connections currently being rolled out to Australian businesses by the carrier and its wholesale partners.

          However, the service has been plagued with a series of "brown-outs" since Friday. In some cases, these outages only lasted a matter of seconds, but customers claim the constant interruption is still enough to hamper those relying on the Internet for conducting business.

          Telstra's help line for ADSL customers is broadcasting a message stating the network is currently experiencing network problems nationwide.

          A frustrated ADSL subscriber in South Australia told ARN the most annoying part of the problem is that the message directs subscribers to a frequently asked question page on the Telstra web site, which is difficult to do if you have lost your connection.

          Telstra public affairs spokesperson Kerrina Lawrence said the problems began late last Friday in Melbourne. An ADSL hardware fault was detected at 3:30pm, which was originally thought to only affect the Melbourne metropolitan area. At 5:30pm the problem was isolated to a Nortel gateway router, and Telstra realized the problem was affecting subscribers nationally. By 8:30pm Telstra and Nortel had replaced the router.

          A separate problem then sprung up at 11:30 pm Friday night, with the failure of the US-China undersea cable. A cable repair ship has been assigned to the failure, with the repair job expected to take approximately one week.

          Lawrence said 30% of Australia's traffic to the USA has been effected, with the impact reduced by 25% after Telstra began patching traffic onto the new Southern Cross Network.

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