Fibre broadband outage hits 10,000 customers, service for some could be restored after 24 hours

NetLink Trust said its team is working on restoring the connections and apologised for any inconvenience caused.
NetLink Trust said its team is working on restoring the connections and apologised for any inconvenience caused.PHOTO: NETLINK TRUST

SINGAPORE - A fibre broadband service disruption in the eastern part of Singapore on Wednesday afternoon (Nov 14) has affected about 10,000 customers and some of them might get services back after only more than 24 hours.

In a statement on Wednesday night, NetLink Trust – the country’s fibre broadband network builder – said that services will be progressively restored by late Thursday afternoon.

It first received reports of a fibre service interruption at around 2.50pm. This means some customers might be without fibre broadband services – which includes Wi-Fi Internet connection – for more than 24 hours.

The outage affected users of all three major telcos and Internet service provider MyRepublic.

NetLink Trust said that the interruption was caused by a third-party contractor which severed a number of fibre cables while performing construction works along Tampines Avenue 9.

The network builder deployed its recovery team onsite and fibre service restoration is underway. It is also working with relevant parties to restore services to all affected areas, which includes the vicinity around Pasir Ris, Tampines, Changi and Loyang.

It urged affected customers to monitor NetLink Trust’s website at www.netlinktrust.com for updates.

Earlier in the day, Singtel, StarHub, M1 and MyRepublic posted on their Facebook pages that users in some areas like Tampines and Pasir Ris might experience difficulties accessing fibre Internet services, including Wi-Fi, television and phone services.

Singtel also said that some of its Wi-Fi hot spots on the island were affected, but these services have since been fully restored, according to an update at 6.46pm.

But fibre broadband, fixed voice and Singtel TV services in the north-eastern part of Singapore services remain affected.

Some netizens said that areas like Punggol and Sengkang were also affected by the fibre broadband downtime.

Housewife Kendra Koh, 26, a StarHub customer who lives in Pasir Ris, said she began experiencing difficulties connecting to Wi-Fi at around 3pm. She eventually had to buy unlimited mobile data for one day from another mobile service provider for one of her two cellphones so that she could connect her Internet TV set to the phone's wireless hot spot.

"This is not the first time that this has happened. It has happened at least a couple of times recently and it's quite ridiculous," said Ms Koh.

Telco regulator Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said that it is aware that a cable cut incident resulted in the service disruption to fixed-line telecom services to users in some eastern parts of Singapore such as Tampines.

"IMDA is investigating the incident and has asked affected service providers to restore services expeditiously,” he said.

In an update at 9.18pm, StarHub said that as a gesture of goodwill and appreciation, it will offer affected fibre customers a $10 rebate on their December bill.

Singtel also said that it would follow up with affected customers to waive their local mobile data charges until services are restored.

At 7.15am on Thursday morning, M1 said in a statement on its Facebook page that about half of its affected customers had their services restored.

As of 9.49am, Singtel said that progressive restoration of the affected broadband services was at 80 per cent. It also added that all fixed voice services had been restored by 2am.

StarHub said at 10.50am that NetLink Trust had restored approximately 80 per cent of the affected underground fibre cables serving its customers.