OpenNet restores cables destroyed by SingTel fire, but some M1 customers still down

OpenNet, builder of Singapore's ultra fast fibre broadband network, said close to noon on Friday that it had completed the restoration work on the affected fibre connections at SingTel's Bukit Panjang facility.

But "a small number" of M1's fibre customers are still facing connection problems, said M1 in a separate statement released at 1pm. "We are making house calls to all these customers and working with OpenNet to help restore their connections," said an M1 spokesman.

In another statement, StarHub also said its fibre broadband service to customers in Bukit Panjang, Choa Chu Kang and Woodlands "appears to be fully restored". But the telco's spokesman declined toprovide details. StarHub plans to compensate affected customers as a gesture of goodwill but details will be announced later.

The fire, which broke out in the cable vault in SingTel's Bukit Panjang exchange last Wednesday, damaged 81 of OpenNet's fibre cables. This affected approximately 23,000 fibre strands and disrupted service for about 48,000 fibre connections. Since the incident, OpenNet said it has been working round the clock with its key sub-contractor Singtel and Internet service providers Nucleus Connect, SingTel, M1 and ViewQwest to restore affected fibre connections.

"If any new issues arise, they will be dealt with on an urgent case-to-case basis," Opennet said in its statement. All the damaged cables were repaired and affected fibre strands re-routed by last Friday, it added.

"However, the restoration work for a small portion of affected fibre connections took longer than expected due to unforeseen complications. At no time were the services of one (ISP) prioritized over another," it said, adding that the restoration process at the fibre layer is intensive and involves splicing of each affected strand of damaged fibre and re-routing of each affected fibre connection individually.