Telstra offers free data day on April 3; CEO Andrew Penn says sorry for outage in a big way

By @chelean on
A man uses his mobile phone in front of a Telstra Logo in central Sydney August 13, 2009.
A man uses his mobile phone in front of a Telstra Logo in central Sydney August 13, 2009. Reuters/Daniel Munoz

Telstra is saying sorry for all the network outages recently in a big way. Following Thursday’s service disruption that affected customers nationwide, CEO Andrew Penn offered free day of data as recompense for the trouble the customers repeatedly experienced.

Penn started his statement by saying he was “very sorry and deeply disappointed” about the voice and data services disruption on Thursday evening, when Telstra customers, mostly in metropolitan Australia, suffered mobile and data outage, while subscribers in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth were unable to call or access the Internet.

He said they are still investigating how the outage occurred, but initial findings revealed that it was a congestion problem. According to the early investigation, the company had a problem that triggered a significant number of customers to be disconnected from the network. As the customers all tried to reconnect automatically at the same time, the network suffered congestion problems.

The said congestion was unrelated to the network outage last month, but the cause was similar. The telco chief said they have started a major process and engineering review of the network to understand how such thing happened and how they could prevent it in the future.

“At Telstra, we place the highest priority on getting things right for our customers. Our mobile network is a vital part of the nation’s infrastructure and it carries millions of calls and data connections for our customers every day,” Penn continued, adding the company invest billions of dollar a year to meet and exceed expectations.

“That is why it is so disappointing for us to have let down our customers,” he said. “We will be offering all of our mobile customers another free day of data as a way of making this right. This will be on Sunday 3 April 2016. Customers do not need to do anything to receive the free data.”

He concluded, “Once again, I apologise for any inconvenience we have caused. You expect seamless mobile service with Telstra and it is our responsibility to ensure that is delivered day in, day out,” before signing off with “Andy.”

The Thursday network outage wasn’t a lone incident. In February, Telstra’s mobile networks failed across the country due to what the company referred to as a human error. Earlier in March, pre-paid mobile customers experienced network issues as well.