Queensland woken up an hour early due to network bug

14 Jan 2015

Thousands of people in the Australian state of Queensland may have thrown their phones at the wall this morning after a bug in the Optus and Virgin Mobile networks caused phone alarms to go off an hour early.

According to ABC News in Australia, the bug is the result of the networks accidentally changing people’s clocks to daylight savings time (DST), despite the fact Queensland opted out of DST in 1972.

Thanks to the bug, a number of people across the state had set out as if it were their usual time to get up, causing an abnormal amount of traffic on the roads for that early in the morning.

Speaking to an ABC affiliate, Mark, one of the affected commuters, said of the whole ordeal, “I couldn’t believe it. Even when I woke up I was thinking it does seem a little bit darker. I thought it was raining last night so maybe … but anyway I got to work. On the bus, my wife texted me saying ‘it’s only 6.20am (AEST)’.”

Mark continued, “I’m like, ‘no it’s not’ because on my phone it said 7.20am. I asked someone on the bus and they said ‘yeah, it’s 6.20am’.”

Showing the occasional pitfalls of relying solely on technology, the person who answered Mark’s plea happened to be wearing a regular watch.

Unsurprisingly, many of the affected commuters took to Twitter and Facebook to show their outrage at missing out on an hour’s sleep, but Optus went to Facebook to apologise and offer them a free coffee to keep them going … at least for the hour longer they have stayed up.

Alarm clock phone image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic