NBN Co the company in charge of the National Broadband Network told a senate hearing last Tuesday that a micrometeorite slamming into a satellite was the most likely cause of the outage that affected over 46 thousand users in regional Australia.
NBN CO’s chief development officer for regional and remote Australia Gavin Williams said the event deserves the classification of being unprecedented’.
Williams said at 8:30pm on December 21, Sky Muster manager Optus informed NBN it had an “off-orbit condition of our second satellite,” due to a micrometeorite hitting it.
“It effectively makes the satellite’s body rotate whilst it remains in its orbit. So the satellite is no longer pointing at the appropriate spot on earth. So the payload, the transmission system on that satellite, is effectively switched off for that period,” he said.
46,500 were affected for seven hours before the satellite re-found the Earth and recovered.
However for 573 customers it took two weeks for the Internet to be restored. Williams said those these users would be eligible for rebates.
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