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Backup your stuff - this includes you Telecom New Zealand

By Mauricio Freitas, in , posted: 24-Feb-2008 19:23

This is juicy - might be in the mainstream media sometime soon... A fault at Telecom's Pukekohe exchange caused 10,000 phones to stop working. This included interruption to emergency calls, etc.

It appears this is one of the NEAX telephone exchanges still in use (for our North American readers it would be the "CO").

Now comes the juicy bit of this story... The rumours are that Telecom restored a backup and things started falling down. People start receiving calls intended to someone else, and calls being charged to the wrong person.

Why? It looks like the backup routine wasn't working and the data restored goes back to 2005.

Any changes since then were lost and Telecom is reapplying transaction files (do they keep three years of transaction files?).

I have e-mailed Telecom's press contact people to find out more about this rumour.

Any good IT administrator knows to test backup and restore routines at regular intervals and to run restores to test the reliability of its procedures.

What really happened there Telecom?

UPDATE: Here is what happened according to the Telecom spokesperson:


As reported, a complex software fault began causing problems for fixed line phone services in the Pukekohe area on Thursday evening.

Rather than risk a recurrence of the suspected software fault, Telecom has used a software file from 2005 to restore service as quickly as possible to the greatest number of customers.

While this meant that most customers in the area were returned to service on Friday afternoon, those customers whose details had changed since early 2005 would not have had their dial tone restored (so they could make outgoing calls) or they could be receiving calls intended for a different phone number.

Telecom has been progressively cross-referencing data to restore full service for these customers over the weekend and this is expected to be completed by tomorrow (Monday). Telecom's priority has been to restore the ability to make outgoing calls for customers, followed by incoming calls.

Services such as call minder and voice messaging will be restored once this work has been completed.

Telecom is able to identify which phone lines have been misdirected as a result of this fault and, as per standard practice, customers will not be charged for any calls not made by them.

If customers in the area have not already logged a fault with their service provider and are still experiencing problems on Monday they should contact their service provider.




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Mauricio Freitas
Wellington
New Zealand


I live in New Zealand and my interests include mobile devices, good books, movies and food of course! 

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