Millions of Australian mobile and net users are without service after telecommunications giant Optus was hit by an outage.
With more than 10 million Australian private customers and hundreds of thousands of companies, Optus is the second largest provider in Australia.
The outage has caused delays in transportation, disrupted hospital phone lines, and paralyzed payment systems.
The cause is unclear, but according to Optus, there is no evidence of a cyber attack.
The company made global headlines last year when it suffered what is believed to be the largest data breach in Australia’s history as a result of a cyber-attack.
Wednesday’s outage was reported at 04:00 local time (17:00 GMT). In an update seven hours later, CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin said her team had not yet worked out what had gone wrong.
“We will not rest until the service is back up for our customers,” she said in a WhatsApp call to local radio.
The company, which has been criticized for not communicating with customers during the outage, said in a later statement that it had begun restoring some of its services.
The outage meant people across the country were unable to make emergency calls or call major emergency numbers, and train services in Victoria were also temporarily paralyzed.
Other providers using the Optus network are also affected, including Amaysim, Aussie Broadband, Moose Mobile, and others.
One Optus customer reported to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that she was unable to receive important information about her father’s cancer treatment due to the disruption.
“I am just waiting for the results and I can not even get them through,” Danielle Hopwood said.
Another customer, Annie, told local radio she found out about the outage through her cat, who was left without breakfast when her automatic Wi-Fi feeder went down due to network problems.
The Australian Minister for Communications, Michelle Rowland, said it had been a worrying morning for many Australians and called on the company to provide transparent and “timely” information to its customers.
“From what I understand, this is a bug deep in the core of the network… so it’s a flaw that is fundamental to the network,” she said.
Ms. Bayer Rosmarin apologized for the outage and said the company would provide more information later today.