In the 35 years of operating his office supply shop in Jurong West, Mr Patrick Goh has not faced many problems. But after losing Internet connection on Tuesday afternoon, the owner of Yunnan General Supplier told The New Paper that his business came to a standstill.
Said Mr Goh: "My shop is quite dependent on e-commerce. Without Internet, no e-mail or orders could come in or go out, which was frustrating.
"I had customers complaining why I did not reply to their e-mail or why their orders did not arrive."
Mr Goh, 61, was among the 3,500 users affectedby the fibre service interruption in the Jurong West area that started at 4.30pm on Tuesday.
After an outage lasting almost 23 hours, Internet services were fully restored last night.
The disruption occurred after a fibre optic cable was damaged by a third-party contractor carrying out sheet piling works at Block 218D, Boon Lay Avenue, affecting Internet connection, some phone lines and TV services.
In a statement last night, fibre operator NetLink Trust said the service interruption was fully resolved by 9pm yesterday.
StarHub, Singtel and M1 said all their customer connections have been restored.
Read also: Internet disruption in Jurong West
Services were supposed to be restored by yesterday morning, but NetLink Trust said progress was hampered "by poor site conditions and heavy rain".
It also said it discovered more damaged cables yesterday morning, adding to the delay.
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said that it was "concerned with the service disruption" and had started investigating the cause of the incident.
"IMDA will take action against the relevant parties, including the earthwork contractor if it is found to have breached any of IMDA's regulatory requirements when carrying out the excavating works," said an IMDA spokesman.
TNP yesterday visited ST Kinetics, Lakeside Primary School, Taman Jurong Shopping Centre and Jurong Point, and found that none of them faced disruptions in Internet and phone line services.
But not everyone was as lucky.
Mr Muralidaran, 31, was doing work online at home when his Internet access was cut off on Tuesday.
The quality assurance engineer said: "It was stressful. I did not know what the problem was, and I needed to complete my coursework by 10pm. When I called StarHub customer service, it did not know what was happening as well."
His request to extend the deadline for his coursework was eventually granted.
Service engineer Kang JianLi, 38, felt like he had wasted his day off because of the disruption.
He said: "My wife and I would usually be watching movies online but we could not do that. I have only two weeks of leave, and I felt like the day was wasted."
Mr Samuel Tan, course manager of retail management in Temasek Polytechnic's School of Business, called the incident "unfortunate" and said the outage caused a "communication breakdown" for businesses in the area.
He said: "The communication breakdown is immediate and made liasing with vendors and suppliers difficult. Without Internet for the considerably long period, the businesses' operations would be affected, leading to a possible loss of potential sales."
This article was first published on Apr 13, 2017.
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