Telstra ADSL outage cuts off ISP partners

Four Telstra wholesale customers suffered nationwide disruptions to their ADSL service earlier this month due to 10 faulty Broadband Remote Access Servers (BRAS) which prevented customers logging onto the network.

Netspace, one of the affected ISPs, was offline from 7.30am until after 11pm on April 6 as Telstra reset the offending units, a process staged over several hours to minimise the impact on customers.

Netspace tech support said the "nation wide issue with Telstra's ADSL service was preventing [customer's] authentification information getting to Netspace servers".

The ISP was promised a fix by 10.32pm, however at 11pm subscribers were still without access. No deadlines had been broken prior to this but Netspace ADSL users in NSW were affected by a related issue which began the previous day.

Customers were routed to dial-up Internet access during the outage much to the ire of at least one subscriber who said, "I'm not paying $60 a month for dial-up service. If I wanted that I could get it from Dodo for $10 bucks".

The troubles affected at least four other Telstra ISPs as well as BigPond itself.

A spokesperson for Telstra's consumer group said the damage was thankfully limited because those already logged onto the ADSL service were unaffected.

Telstra is laying blame for the disturbance on the BRAS equipment supplier whose identity it would not divulge. The incident has compounded existing complaints about the integrity of Telstra's broadband provision and given rise to the issue of compensation, particularly for prolonged breakdowns.

At about $60 a month customers are paying about $2 a day for ADSL compared to around $0.33 per day for dial-up.

A spokesperson for Telstra's wholesale group said all 130 of its ADSL wholesale partners had the option of a Service Level Guarantee (SLG) entitling them to fiscal compensation for downtime based on the length of the blackout and the number of customers affected. But she would not reveal the cost of the SLG or how many of Telstra's 130 partners had entered into such agreements.

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