BigPond brown-out sullies Telstra results sparkle

Less than 24 hours after delivering a massive $4.12 billion annual profit and $1.5 billion dividend bonanza to shareholders, the success of Telstra's operational cost cutting has been jaded by another brown-out at the telco's BigPond ADSL service.

While precise details of the Melbourne-based glitch remain typically elusive, end users of BigPond ADSL service again found themselves wading through the Internet yesterday and today at crippled speeds, prompting BigPond resellers to issue notifications to customers.

With the glitch understood to have started at around 3am Thursday August 12, BigPond reseller SwiftBroadband was still issuing advice to customers that there was no resolution in sight almost 30 hours later at 9.38 am Friday August 13.

"SwiftBroadband advise [that] Telstra service issues are still ongoing, there is no ETR at this time," stated the SwiftBroadband customer advisory texted to customers.

An IT manager who asked to remain anonymous questioned why services at BigPond had been restored "some three to four hours prior to Swift's".

The IT manager said he had accounts with both SwiftBroadband (Sydney) and BigPond (Melbourne), and became suspicious when the BigPond service was restored but Swifts was not.

Telstra spokesman Warwick Ponder went to big lengths to strenuously reject any suggestion Telstra may be favouring its own customers over those of its wholesale resellers.

"[Service restoration] was done state by state. There would have been some states where [resellers had their services restored] before BigPond [and vice versa]. Telstra has made a big effort to make sure wholesale BigPond customers are treated equally to BigPond [retail] customers. That's been a big priority," Ponder said.

Ponder attributed the current BigPond speed slump to a "software problem…on the network", resulting in ADSL customers who connected and "got knocked off" still appearing to be connected.

Ponder said the brown-out affected around 10 per cent of BigPond's customers, wholesale and retail.

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Julian Bajkowski

Computerworld
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