StarHub Internet users face connectivity woes

IMDA probes two service disruptions affecting several parts of S'pore yesterday

Children studying at home earlier this month. StarHub's Internet service faced intermittent outage issues yesterday, causing disruption to users working and studying at home during a period when connections are crucial amid the coronavirus outbreak.
Children studying at home earlier this month. StarHub's Internet service faced intermittent outage issues yesterday, causing disruption to users working and studying at home during a period when connections are crucial amid the coronavirus outbreak.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

StarHub's Internet service faced intermittent outage issues yesterday, causing disruption to subscribers working and studying at home during a period when connections are crucial amid the coronavirus outbreak.

According to the Down Detector website, which logs Internet outages, StarHub started having problems at around 11am, before complaints spiked at 11.30am and again, at 3.55pm.

StarHub, in confirming the problem on its Facebook page, said fibre broadband services for some customers living in the north and north-east of Singapore were "temporarily affected" for about 20 minutes in the morning due to "a fault in a network equipment".

Its update on Facebook at 3.45pm said it was aware that some broadband customers were still facing connectivity problems.

The telco later said this was due to a separate network issue with one of its domain name servers that handles Internet traffic routing.

StarHub's chief technology officer Chong Siew Loong apologised for the inconvenience and said: "We take this incident seriously and will conduct a detailed root-cause analysis so that we can prevent future recurrence."

He said traffic on the telco's network is "well below" available capacity, and that "ample redundancy" has been built into the network to cater for high service levels.

All affected services were fully restored by 8.20pm, said the telco.

A spokesman for the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) told The Straits Times: "IMDA takes a serious view of any service disruption to public telecommunications services, especially during the circuit breaker period, where many of us are working and studying from home."

The spokesman added: "IMDA has commenced investigations into the two service disruptions to StarHub's Internet services... and will not hesitate to take strong enforcement action should there be any lapses on StarHub's part."

CONNECTIVITY IS ESSENTIAL

Such connectivity will be the difference between success and failure, particularly for smaller businesses that need to turn to digital means to reach their local and global audiences while home-bound.

MR ALPER TURKEN, CommScope's senior vice-president, service provider, Asia-Pacific, on the importance of reliable Internet services.

Thousands of Internet users from Yishun and Ang Mo Kio to Seletar and Kallang took to social media to complain about the outages.

Facebook user Danny Tong wrote on StarHub's page: "How to work from home when your 'equipment' and infrastructure failed big time? Still not working after rebooting all my devices equipment several times now. Bishan area."

Private investor Stephen Chen, 42, said he realised that something was wrong when he noticed his wife using her phone's mobile data to conduct a Zoom call for work at around 5pm.

"I saw that my computer's Internet connection was also down and I couldn't do any trading. I rebooted the router a few times and it still didn't work," said Mr Chen, who lives in Mountbatten.

Mr Alper Turken, CommScope's senior vice-president, service provider, Asia-Pacific, said the Internet is "as essential as water and power".

"Such connectivity will be the difference between success and failure, particularly for smaller businesses that need to turn to digital means to reach their local and global audiences while home-bound."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 16, 2020, with the headline 'StarHub Internet users face connectivity woes'. Subscribe