No Internet for many in Jurong due to cut cable

Outage lasting 12 hours could have affected more than 3,500 users, says fibre operator

A cut fibre optic cable in Jurong West caused Internet and fixed voice services to go down in the area yesterday afternoon, leaving many without connectivity for almost 12 hours.

Fibre operator NetLink Trust said in a statement last night that the fibre optic cable cut at a worksite in Boon Lay Avenue may have affected more than 3,500 end users. The areas affected were Jurong West, Boon Lay and Corporation Road.

The outage hit users of all three local telcos - M1, Singtel and StarHub - as well as Internet service providers (ISP) MyRepublic and ViewQwest, all of which posted notifications on their Facebook pages informing users of the outage.

As of 10pm yesterday, users posted about 200 comments across all the posts made by the three telcos and the two ISPs, complaining about the lack of fibre services.

The outage started at about 4.30pm, due to a third-party contractor carrying out sheet piling works in the area, according to updates sent out by the telcos.

"NetLink Trust has deployed recovery teams on site and emergency service restoration is under way," the company said last night.

Services are expected to be progressively restored by this morning, meaning that the outage would have lasted for more than 12 hours.

A spokesman for the Infocomm Media Development Authority said it is monitoring the situation closely, adding: "We have asked NetLink Trust and the various service providers to restore services as soon as possible, to minimise the inconvenience to affected customers."

NetLink Trust, formerly known as OpenNet, is Singapore's high-speed fibre broadband network builder.

It supplies fibre links wholesale to ISPs here, such as the telcos as well as MyRepublic and ViewQwest.

A similar incident occurred in the Commonwealth and Ghim Moh area in February last year. The cut cable, caused by a third-party contractor believed to be doing sewage works, brought down Internet connectivity for households in the vicinity for almost 13 hours.

Under the Telecommunications Act, contractors carrying out earthworks near such cables have to take precautions, such as obtaining information on the cables' location and protecting them when the works are carried out.

Those who fail to observe these precautions and damage any telecommunications cables while carrying out earthworks can be fined up to $1 million and jailed for five years.

•Additional reporting by Nathasha Lee and Tang Fan Xi

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 12, 2017, with the headline 'No Internet for many in Jurong due to cut cable'. Print Edition | Subscribe