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Telco Overhaul: Real-Time Sharing Mandated After Optus Triple-0 Crisis

In response to the chaos caused by last year’s Optus network outage, Australian telecommunications companies will be mandated to share real-time network information during emergencies.

This recommendation and other changes were announced in the Bean Review final report released today.

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It also suggested telcos establish a dedicated body to oversee the country’s triple-0 emergency system.

During the November 8 outage, which affected around 10 million people’s phone and internet services, thousands of Australians were unable to reach emergency services via the triple-0 hotline. 

The report, led by Richard Bean, delivered 18 recommendations to the government aimed at fortifying the reliability of the triple-0 system. 

These include requiring telcos to shut down their towers during outages to allow triple-0 calls to be rerouted, establishing a dedicated “Triple Zero custodian”.

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“No single body could see the whole picture. This significantly hampered the dissemination of accurate and timely advice to the community,” Mr Bean said.

Additionally, telcos will be required to provide timely post-mortem reports on significant outages, outlining causes and resolution steps with clear timelines. 

The government’s contract with Telstra to manage the triple-0 system will also undergo review, with changes expected within a year.

“There is no mandatory code which obliges carriers to notify the community, government, or other telecommunications entities of such a disruption, and there should be.”

Optus, in response, pledged to cooperate with authorities and implement necessary changes to prevent future outages. 

Optus Interim CEO Michael Venter said: “We will work closely with regulatory authorities, the government, and industry on the review recommendations.”

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