Parts of the Sydney CBD and metropolitan area were affected by a power outage at approximately 4.45pm on Monday 30th of March 2009. The cause of the problem was a hardware failure at one of four local substations that supply Sydney's power. Most of Sydney's CBD didn't have their phones up.
M5's monitoring system alerted support engineers that seven clients were affected by the power outage. Within five minutes, our provisioning team had contacted each clients' emergency contacts. Clients were given the following options.
- Leaving the phones as they were, with the mainline and individual extension calls diverting automatically to their standard voicemail greeting.
- Diverting the mainline number to a mobile phone or to another office unaffected by the power outage. Leave the individual extensions to go through to personal voicemails.
- Diverting the mainline and individual extensions to another office or tp mobile phones.
Of the seven clients impacted, four chose to leave the phones un-diverted as their normal business hours were 9.00am to 5.00pm. Another two clients requested that the mainline and all individual extensions be diverted to their other interstate offices.
The remaining client chose to have the mainline diverted to the manager's mobile as each individual extension had been previously set up to divert to personal mobiles during emergency situations. When a phone loses power, or is not visible to our monitoring system, the pre-set conditions are referenced and calls to that individual number will act according to its settings. Total downtime was approximately 10 minutes.
With a traditional phone system, a power outage means no phone lines, in or out. Manual diversions would not be possible as the phone system is down. A diversion would need to be organised with your carrier (Telstra, Optus etc). A temporary diversion like this (if you can get through) normally costs between $50- $150 depending on which phone company you are with and would normally take anywhere between 3-4 hours.