O2 apologises for screwup, admits 'multiple backups' failed

O2 has apologised for the day-long network failure earlier this week, admitting that multiple backups failed.

O2 has apologised for the day-long network failure earlier this week, admitting that multiple backups failed and left up to 7 million people without service.

Chief executive Ronan Dunne appeared on the BBC to apologise for the network failure, which O2 reckons affected up to one third of the network's customers -- potentially as many as 7 million people.

Dunne admits that "multiple layers of redundancy" failed due to an "exceptional situation". The system that registers each handset to the network developed a fault early on Wednesday afternoon, and an increasing number of phones then lost connection over the next few hours.

Voice service was restored by first thing the next day, but 3G data connections were still affected throughout Thursday morning. O2 finally confirmed that it had restored full service for both 2G and 3G at around 1.30pm on Thursday, suggesting the disruption had lasted a full day.

Now the service is back, O2 promises a "root-and-branch review" of the network infrastructure.

The company hasn't said anything about compensation , and it probably won't. We spoke to solicitor Sophia King of Thomas Eggar LLP, who points out, "O2 states in its own Pay Monthly Terms and Conditions that 'the service [it provides] isn't fault free'. Like the majority of contracts O2 has what is known as a 'force majeure' clause, which states that where things go wrong and those events are outside O2's reasonable control, O2 will not be liable for any loss suffered.

"So, whilst the disruption will have caused problems for both private and business customers, it is unlikely that anyone will successfully be able to bring a claim against O2."

Still, if you were left significantly out of pocket, keep track of your expenses and contact O2 in writing at complaintreviewservice@o2.com.

Were you badly affected by the O2 network failure? Tell me your experiences in the comments or on our Facebook page.

About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.


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