Guangdong Telecom apologizes for network crash, but can't explain it

29 Jun 2009

Guangdong Telecom has apologized over the network outage last Thursday, but says it can\'t fully explain its causes.

Police and public security officials are investigating the reasons the outage last Thursday, which crashed the internet in the wealthy southern province, taking retail lottery sales, airline ticketing and other e-services offline.

Guangdong Telecom, a division of China Telecom, said its network crashed at 5.46pm on June 25 because of the "abnormal operation" of two internet routers, affecting 50% of the "circuits" in its network, reported Monday.

The breakdown affected slowed internet traffic to a crawl in Guangdong and blocked IM sites such as the popular QQ and MSN. Internet users in Shanghai and Chengdu also felt the impact of the outage.

The carrier said it had taken "emergency measures" in response and had restored normal service at 7.35pm.

The belated apology and admission that it cannot fully explain the outage is unlikely to staunch the speculation sweeping Chinese chatrooms.

One rumor is that it was part of an "internet war" of firms hacking each other\'s servers, while another was that it was the result of a massive attack on the servers of gaming firm Tencent.

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