A few days ago I made a comment  about the aging Optus B1 satellite needing to be replaced, and whilst this is still true (Optus D1 is due up later this month), it is not the cause of the Southern Cross Syndication programming faults also mentioned in that article. Instead, it would appear  that Southern Cross moved their programming services over to Optus B3 a few months ago.
The constant losses of signal experienced by network stations last week were in fact caused by regular solar activity, which unfortunately does disrupt the signal.
However, I believe that Optus B3 is not transmitting its signal as strongly as Optus B1 did. The reason I believe this is that minor sudden rain showers seem to be able to cause much more disruption than they used to. On the weekend, both 2CC and 2CA lost their network feeds temporarily when a brief rain shower occured at the receiver. Previously, such an intensity of rain would not have been enough to cause that disruption.
In other corrections, I also mentioned on the weekend that 2UE are running pre-recorded news , and managed to play a bulletin which was 24 hours old at 2am on Sunday. This is true, but it was not quite as recent a development as I thought. In the article I mentioned that 2UE followed 3AW’s lead to pre-recorded overnight news, it is now apparent that this is wrong, and 3AW actually followed 2UE’s lead (thank you to the people who alerted me to this error). Regardless of that, it is still a terrible way to run a supposed news leader…and I really don’t know what will happen if and when major international news breaks after midnight.
Once again, the Southern Cross Syndication website is well behind actual events…months on from 2UE’s decision they are still advertising the 2UE NSW news feed as “Live every hour around-the-clock plus half hourly in breakfast”. (Source )
I can only hope that they aren’t trying to use a strange definition of “live”.