| 1 March 2024, Friday |

Orange boss called in by French interior minister over outage

French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin summoned Orange Chief Executive Stéphane Richard for a meeting on Thursday after a glitch on its network prevented calls to emergency services.

The meeting, which was scheduled to start at 0700 GMT, was also being attended by the minister for digital affairs, Cedric O, who oversees the telecoms sector, Darmanin said.

Darmanin told a news briefing that the Orange network failure affected the whole of France for several hours, adding that it was “serious and unacceptable”.

One person in Brittany may have died because emergency services were not called soon enough, Darmanin said.

A spokesman for Orange, France’s number one telecoms firm, said the incident, which started on Wednesday afternoon, was gradually resolved from midnight after “various technical operations” carried out by its teams.

The problem stemmed from a malfunction in the equipment responsible for traffic routing, the spokesman said.

Darmanin said that Orange, which is controlled by the French state, does not think the technical problems were a result of a cyberattack although this could not be excluded.

  • Reuters