Telstra struggles with connection woes

Telstra struggles with connection woes

Telstra claims its Internet services are back to normal after it was plagued by more access problems despite the repair of the SEA-ME-WE 3 late Friday night.

The carrier was hit by router problems on Saturday and again this morning, blocking or offering intermittent Internet access to thousands of Telstra customers.

Telstra spokesperson Stuart Gray said the router in question was failing to notify a customer database of new IP addresses, which resulted in blocked access.

"The access list somehow or other was not up to date," he explained.

When asked by ARN why a failover strategy did not eventuate, Gray said Telstra does have "failsafe procedures" but they were not engaged in this case.

"The system is hugely complex," he said. "It doesn't take much for a problem to occur."

Meanwhile, Gray said the SEA-ME-WE 3 (Southeast Asia-Middle East-Western Europe) cable was repaired and operational by late Friday after the repair ship battled bad weather to complete the task, some four days after it was initially expected.

"Because the cable had been dragged so far off course, they had trouble finding it," he said.

The repair operation was also delayed because extensive damage required more splices than anticipated and the installation of a stand-by repeater.

Gray was unable to report the total cost of the exercise, but said a similar operation in Australian waters was $200,000.

Repair ships are maintained in full operation as part of the SEA-ME-WE 3 cable consortium's insurance policy, so any repairs create only minor incremental costs, he said.

SEA-ME-WE 3 cable was damaged on November 20 at a location about 70 kilometres south of Singapore, where the cable lies in 25-metre-deep waters between the island state and Indonesia.

The 39,000-kilometre cable is reportedly the longest in the world, with 40 landing points in 34 countries. It connects Australia, South East Asia, the Middle East and Europe.

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