The embattled CEO of Optus has admitted another mass network blackout can’t be ruled out, as the company reveals how it plans to compensate customers for Wednesday’s nationwide outage.

In a wide-ranging interview with, CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin revealed the telco would be apologising by giving customers access to extra data, with a value of $100, “for a couple of months”.

“We’re going to thank our customers for their patience and loyalty by giving them additional data for a couple of months,” Ms Bayer Rosmarin said.

The company’s “bonus data allowance” would mean Optus postpaid mobile customers could use up to 200GB of data, managing director of customer solutions, Matt Williams said.

Business customers would be extended the same offer, he confirmed, in lieu of any cash compensation as has been widely called for.

“For yesterday’s outage, we wanted to give that extra data of 200GB over the next couple of months, which if they were to purchase as a standard add-on would cost in excess of $100,” Mr Williams told

Can it happen again?

Ms Bayer Rosmarin said outages of such a scale, coined the worst in Australian history, were “always a possibility” for any big company.

“When you run a critical infrastructure, it’s always a possibility,” she told

“Outages of this magnitude though are a really rare occurrence and it’s our job to keep it that way.

The telco, she said, was designed with multiple layers of “fallback and redundancy”, which at its heart, had a “modern intelligent router network”.

Despite is supposed advanced design, she said a “network event” triggered yesterday’s catastrophe.

The event caused a “cascading failure that resulted in the shutdown of our services”, she said.

“Our engineers are completing a thorough investigation so that we capture all the learnings and continue to improve,” Ms Bayer Rosmarin.

Why did it take so long to resolve

The Optus boss said the network remained unreachable for so long because of how complex it was.

“It took us time to reboot the service. Of course we worked as hard and fast as we possibly could. We have a team of network engineers and were able to begin restoring services from about noon,” she said.

Millions affected

More than 10 million customers and 400,000 businesses were left without mobile or internet service after Optus’ network went down at 4am on Wednesday.

Optus has expressed that it will not be refunding its nearly 10 million customers after the telco announced it would instead look for ways to say “thank you” to those affected.

Ms Bayer Rosmarin earlier told The Daily Telegraph the company would not reimburse customers because most would get “less than $2” in compensation.

Communications Minister Michelle Rowland said it was more than reasonable for people to expect a refund and urged businesses to hold onto their receipts.

“There is a reasonable expectation from Australians that if they are done wrong, if there is an outage of this nature that causes them to suffer loss in some way – be that economic or otherwise – that corporations will do the right thing by them,” she said.

Optus will be subject to three separate investigations into Thursday’s outage, including a senate inquiry and a separate federal government and industry regulator investigation.

More to come.

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