Singtel, the parent company of Australian telco Optus, has rejected the operators' claims that a software update was the cause of a 14-hour-long outage last week.

– Getty Images

Earlier this week, Australian telco Optus said the outage occurred following changes to routing information from an international peering network after a routine software upgrade at 4:05 am.

More than 10 million Australians were impacted by the outage, which occurred last Wednesday (November 8).

It caused transport delays and payment problems, and cut hospital phone lines.

Disruption to Optus' network was first reported around 4:00 am local time, and lasted until around 6:00 pm.

Optus said routing information provided by the Singtel Information Exchange (STiX) led to the outage.

However, Singtel has distanced itself from the claims, stating that a software update was not the cause.

“We are aware that Optus experienced a network outage after the upgrade when a significant increase in [Internet] addresses being propagated through their network triggered preset failsafes. However, the upgrade was not the root cause,” a Singtel spokesperson said in a statement.

“From time to time, STiX [the Singtel Internet Exchange] conducts software upgrades for its infrastructure.

“STiX had planned for a routine software upgrade on one of its routers at 1:00 am Singapore Time on November 8, 2023 (4:00 am AEDT), and as per usual practice, gave prior notice to all affected customers, including Optus and other telecom companies.

“During the upgrade, data traffic was routed to other points of presence on the STiX network and back into customers’ networks. The STiX upgrade was completed within 20 minutes and all its customers’ routers that were connected to it, including Optus’, were up and running.”

Optus apologized to its customers in the wake of the outage, and has offered 200GB of free data for mobile and small business customers.

The company's CEO ruled out offering financial compensation. Customers and business owners have called the offer a "token gesture."