Sunday, March 30, 2008

Telstra Mobile Network - Network Time Problem and 2008 DST Changes

Today's been a weird day due to the fact that both my Nokia N95 and my wife's Nokia E51 rolled back from AEDT to AEST. I'm the only one that noticed it though.

In the past us Tasmanians would go to daylight savings times about 3 weeks ahead of our mainland counterparts that participated in daylight savings (South Australia, Victoria, ACT, New South Wales) and then change back at the same time.

Last year an agreement was reached for the states that participated in daylight savings (except Western Australia, who've introduced a DST trial for 3 years) to change to daylight savings on the last Sunday in October and change back on the first Sunday in April. The appropriate State departments promulgated their DST changes around March/April last year.

Thankfully organisations like Microsoft responded promptly with DST patches. Unfortunately, organisations like Nokia and Telstra ignored the changes and made no provision to cater for these changes.

I've just spent half an hour on the phone with Telstra explaining what the problem is and possible remediation steps to get the problem resolved. Apparently their mobile phone helpdesk has had an incredible spike in calls today, with the bulk of them about the DST change.

So the point of this post is if you're responsible for devices that require accurate time, or have their time synchronised, make yourself aware of local DST changes and plan for changes and also have contingency plans for when providers/suppliers are slack. If you're responsible for systems that span multiple timezones and/or countries, then you need to keep an eye on resources such as Microsoft's Hot Topics for Daylight Saving Time changes, which helps aggregate these changes into one resource.

I wonder how many people are going to be an hour late to work tomorrow?

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