Ministry slaps KDDI with administrative guidance

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The KDDI logo is seen at its headquarters in Chiyoda Ward, Tokyo, in July.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Japan’s communications ministry on Wednesday slapped telecom company KDDI Corp. with administrative guidance under the name of Minister Yasushi Kaneko over its major network disruption in early July.

The moves were the first such administrative guidance given under the name of the communications minister. Such guidance in the past had been issued under the name of the ministry’s telecommunications bureau chief.

The KDDI service disruption occurred at 1:35 a.m. on July 2 and lasted for 61 hours and 25 minutes, affecting voice calls and data communications for more than 30.91 million users in total.

It was the biggest-ever communications failure involving a mobile phone carrier in Japan.

Recognizing the disruption as a serious incident under the Telecommunications Business Law, the ministry demanded KDDI report by Nov. 10 on measures to prevent similar incidents and revisions to the way it informs users of service disruptions.

The ministry took similar administrative action against Okinawa Cellular Telephone Co., a KDDI subsidiary based in the southernmost Japan prefecture of Okinawa, the same day.

KDDI President Makoto Takahashi visited the communications ministry on Wednesday and received a document on the administrative guidance from Kaneko.

Takahashi told reporters that the company will work on preventive measures as a “top priority.”

“We took the fact very seriously that the disruption lasted longer than ever and was on the biggest-scale ever,” Kaneko said.

The ministry instructed KDDI to make thorough preparations before performing maintenance at the facility that became the cause of the latest problem and to improve the way it informs users about service disruptions.

Kaneko announced plans to hold an expert panel meeting on Monday to review the disruption and draw up by October cross-industry rules on public relations at the time of a glitch.

He also said that the ministry will set up a council in September to consider the use of a roaming system to allow the use of other carriers’ networks at a time of emergency.