Optus struggles with World Cup streaming fallout as Prime Minister enters the fray

Optus’ World Cup streaming trouble have continued this afternoon with the Prime Minister promising to seek assurances from CEO Allen Lew that the problems which have the plagued the service over the weekend have been resolved.

During the first three days of the month long tournament, the Optus service has been subject to dropouts and poor signal quality as the telco struggled to meet the demand for its $15 streaming service.

“I hope to speak to him later today to seek his assurances that the failures in the streaming service has been rectified,” the Prime Minister said at a press conference when asked about the problems.

It is unclear what powers the government has to compel Optus’ CEO to take Malcolm’s call, or what powers the government has over the telco’s service. Mumbrella has contacted the Prime Minister’s Office for comment.

Optus’ problems are not confined to the Prime Minister’s displeasure with Karl Stefanovic launching a tirade against the company over the problems on this morning’s Today show.

“Optus is hopeless. If you can’t deliver the product you’re selling, you go out of business,” Stefanovic told viewers this morning: “The only problem is no one else can sell it, they don’t have the rights, Optus has the rights.”

The problems are a major embarrassment for Optus which has seen its streaming of English Premier League games boost its share of the mobile market over the past year. However Optus’ EPL service itself suffered similar outages in its early days.

In response to Optus’ successes, Telstra has boosted its sports offerings,  signing a deal with the domestic Football Federation of Australia earlier this year to run alongside its existing NRL, AFL and cricket channels.

On Sunday, Optus boss Allen Lew was apologetic to World Cup fans: “I apologise unreservedly to all Australians,” he told Fairfax Media. “We should have done better, we can do better and we will do better.”

“Australians can be assured that this has my personal attention, and the entire network’s team’s attention, and we will solve it. We will solve this problem by the end of this evening.”


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