M1 says 33-hour fibre outage caused by 'network bolstering initiative', offers one-week rebate to affected users

M1 said the disruptions comprised two unrelated incidents on May 12 and 13 respectively. ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

SINGAPORE - Telco M1 said the islandwide disruptions to its fibre broadband service that began on Tuesday and lasted more than 33 hours were due to a "network bolstering initiative to improve customer experience", and not a shortage of network capacity.

In a statement on Thursday (May 14), M1 apologised for the inconvenience caused to customers.

It also offered a one-week rebate on monthly home broadband fees for affected users, some of whom were working from home during the circuit breaker period.

M1 said the disruptions actually comprised two unrelated incidents on Tuesday and Wednesday, and ruled out suggestions of dated equipment and a cyber attack.

However, it did not elaborate on the nature of the issue caused by its network bolstering initiative.

"The first incident on May 12 impacted a specific group of customers and was resolved overnight to avoid large-scale disruption in the peak hours," an M1 spokesman said.

"The second unrelated incident occurred the next morning and was resolved by 2pm on the same day."

Affected users will be sent a link to redeem the rebate via SMS and e-mail from Thursday.

Connectivity problems were first reported on the Downdetector website, which logs Internet outages, at 4.30am on Tuesday.

The disruption affected thousands of subscribers in various parts of Singapore - including Sengkang, Upper Thomson, Hougang and Sembawang.

"We are deeply sorry for the inconvenience the disruption has caused to our users and thank them for their patience and understanding.

"Our priority now is to ensure service reliability and we are taking extra measures to prevent recurrence of such incidents," said M1 chief executive officer Manjot Singh Mann.

"We are also cooperating fully with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) for further investigations."

The IMDA said Wednesday that it has started investigations and would not "hesitate to take strong enforcement action should there be any lapses on M1's part".

M1 is the second telco to be hit by network service disruptions since the circuit breaker period began.

Last month, two disruptions on the same day affected thousands of StarHub subscribers and were attributed to network equipment failure and a domain name server issue.

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