SingTel fire: 46,000 OpenNet fibre broadband connections affected

File photo of contractors installing the OpenNet cable in the Tampines estate. Close to 46,000 individual fibre connections were affected after a fire at one of SingTel's major Internet exchanges at Bukit Panjang damaged OpenNet's cables. -- ST FILE
File photo of contractors installing the OpenNet cable in the Tampines estate. Close to 46,000 individual fibre connections were affected after a fire at one of SingTel's major Internet exchanges at Bukit Panjang damaged OpenNet's cables. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM

Close to 46,000 individual fibre connections were affected after a fire at one of SingTel's major Internet exchanges at Bukit Panjang damaged OpenNet's cables.

The ultra-fast fibre broadband network builder, OpenNet, said on Thursday that the fire had damaged 81 fibre cables. Since each cable has numerous fibre strands, approximately 23,000 fibre strands were affected, ultimately disrupting an estimated 46,000 individual fibre connections. This accounts for about one in 10 of its broadband customers.

As at 1pm on Thursday, 27 per cent of the affected fibre connections were restored. Restoration work is still being carried out by OpenNet.

"Given the very large number of individual fibre strands damaged and the fact that each end-to-end fibre connection has to be individually restored, OpenNet will require more time to carry out the restoration work," according to the statement. It expects all fibre connections are expected to be restored within the next 24 to 36 hours.

About half of the OpenNet's cables at the SingTel building were damaged. This affected fibre customers in Bukit Batok , Bukit Panjang, Bukit Timah, Choa Chu Kang, Kranji, Marsiling, Teck Whye and Woodlands might have been disrupted.

The fire that started at 2pm at SingTel's Bukit Panjang building brought down banking, telecommunications and even betting services in many parts of Singapore for hours.

Internet links of SingTel's corporate customers including several major banks and telco StarHub were also disrupted.