Telstra Digital Business customers left without phone services
Business Digital problems since early Thursday. Photo: Peter Braig
Telstra Digital Business customers were without telephone services on Thursday, with some having internet connectivity issues as well.
The company confirmed Digital Business customers Australia-wide were without the service's fixed telephone lines, which are served over their internet connection (voice-over-IP). Some were also having difficulty downloading data through the bundled internet connection.
Robert Brand, chief executive of telecommunications services provider PlusComm, in Dulwich Hill in Sydney's inner west, said he had to cancel web conferences scheduled for Thursday morning with team members overseas because neither his phones nor his internet connection was working.
"Initially internet went off as well at 8 o'clock, for at least half an hour or maybe longer. It's very difficult because we had organised some events utilising Skype and other things but we're off the air," Mr Brand said.
He said he was working as usual despite the Anzac Day public holiday. He was counting on the service's incoming call diversion to a nominated mobile number.
"If it happened on a weekday it would probably be devastating to a large number of companies."
Ingrid Langtry , co-owner of Ladro restaurants in Fitzroy and Prahran in Melbourne, said the venues were losing revenue as a result of the lack of phone lines and intermittent internet connection.
"It's the fourth time, third time in two weeks.
"Both of the restaurants run through Telstra. We've had all sorts of problems in the last fortnight. When we put the phones on a diversion, people randomly get a message the phones have 'been disconnected' or 'this number doesn't exist'.
"We've been on hold to Telstra, running around all day. They apologised but an apology just doesn't cut it if customers are told our number doesn't exist," Ms Langtry said.
She said regular acquaintances were texting the owners' personal mobile numbers to make reservations, but other clients were told the number was disconnected. She said the business would lose revenue as a result.
"For sure, and not just from the dozen bookings that couldn't come in today. It's the talk, the reputation, that is associated with your business. If I got that message, I'd be thinking they don't exist any more, and I wouldn't go back.''
Telstra Digital Business is an all-in-one product for small businesses bundling fixed telephone lines (voice-over-IP), broadband internet and mobile phones. It is understood it uses Cisco routers to provide the VoIP service. The service can also package subscriptions to on-demand software through Telstra T-suite, making connectivity a bigger issue for customers who depend on the company for their accounting, sales and customer relationship management (CRM) programs as well.
A spokeswoman for Telstra said the company first became aware of the issue at 7.20am on Thursday and technicians had been working on it since. It did not yet have an estimated resolution time.
"At the moment it affects Digital Business customers across the country. We're still working to fix it."
She said the company would provide another update Thursday afternoon.
UPDATE 4pm: A Telstra spokesperson advised the problem was affecting IP telephony only and was not related to Cisco hardware.
"Currently we understand a change to the firewall rules last night could've caused the problem."
She said technicians were still working to resolve the "complicated issue" as soon as possible.
UPDATE 6pm: A Telstra spokesperson advised the company anticipated resolving the issue mid-evening Thursday. "Our sincere apologies to our customers", she said.
UPDATE 8pm: Telstra advised the issue has been resolved.
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