The operator says it will compensate every one of its mobile customers for the disruption, which impacted customers ability to make voice calls and connect to the internet

Around a month ago, Japanese mobile operator KDDI experienced its largest ever network outage, leaving millions of customers without voice and internet services for almost an entire weekend. Perhaps more worryingly, it also left many customers unable to contact emergency services, with the operator telling customers to make use of landlines and public phone boxes if necessary. 

At the time, KDDI said that equipment failure was the blame for the outage, suggesting that an error had occurred during regular maintenance.

Now, KDDI has announced that it will compensate not only the customers directly affected by the network disruption but its entire subscriber base, seeking to apologise for the disruption. 

According to KDDI’s figures, the disruption stopped 22.8 million customers from making voice calls and stopped over 7.65 million from connecting to the internet. 

The operator says it will offer the 2.71 million customers most heavily affected a refund of two days’ worth of their monthly basic subscription fee. It will also pay 200 yen ($1.50) to all its 35.89 million subscribers to apologise.

Thus, the company will pay out at least $53.84 million to its subscribers. 

“As a communication network operator that must provide stable services to sustain social infrastructure, we are taking it very seriously that we caused this kind of incident,” said KDDI chief Makoto Takahashi, who noted that customer trust in KDDI’s ‘au’ brand had been damaged. 

Today Japan’s communications minister, Yasushi Kaneko, formally presented Takahashi with administrative guidance, ordering the company to submit a report on the new measures they have introduced to prevent such disturbances being repeated. KDDI’s report is expected no later than November 10.

The government has also been very open about its concern over how long it took KDDI to reconnect customers, suggesting that a panel will be created later this year to explore how Japanese operators can introduce roaming for emergency service calls when one network fails. 

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