Based on the recent disruption of Singtel's broadband services, it appears there is a trend for such disruptions to occur and last over prolonged periods ("Singtel fibre broadband services disrupted"; Dec 4).
Granted that no system is perfect, where there is any disruption, telcos must ensure that the down time is minimal.
It is not so simple to just tell subscribers to use their mobile data plans and that data charges will be waived for that day. Some users may not feel comfortable performing e-transactions on their mobile phones, especially when it involves Internet banking.
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) should impose stiffer penalties each time such a disruption occurs. As a deterrent, in addition to a heavy fine, IMDA could consider directing telcos to compensate their subscribers in terms of the monthly charges on their data plans.
Moreover, in the current terror climate, telcos should carry out preventive maintenance on all their equipment and network of services to ensure that they are up to the mark in the event of an emergency.
While gearing up to make Singapore a Smart Nation, we cannot afford to have frequent disruptions in our telecommunications network.
Andrew Seow Chwee Guan