SingTel fire: 46,000 OpenNet fibre connections damaged; customers to be compensated

SingTel fire: 46,000 OpenNet fibre connections damaged; customers to be compensated

SINGAPORE - SingTel said on Thursday that affected customers from Wednesday's fire at its Bukit Panjang building will be compensated, details of which will be revealed at a later date.

As restorations works get underway, the fallout from Wednesday's fire at SingTel's Bukit Panjang building continues to grow bigger.

OpenNet reported that over 46,000 individual fibre connections were disrupted, of which only 27 per cent has been restored at 12:30pm.

Meanwhile, restoration works for Telco operators StarHub and M1's fibre broadband services were also ongoing.

StarHub earlier explained that "[they] lease some SingTel optical fibre capacity that runs through this exchange." As at 12:30pm, only 19 per cent of Starhub's fibre services has been restored, while 90 per cent of its cable TV, cable broadband and digital voice services have been restored.

IDA said in a statement on their Facebook page that their officers visited SingTel's Bukit Panjang site on Wednesday night and are monitoring the progress of restoration works closely.

While the telecommunications damage has been largely confined to the northern parts of Singapore (Bukit Batok , Bukit Panjang, Bukit Timah, Choa Chu Kang, Kranji, Marsiling, Teck Whye, and Woodlands), banking services and other data transactions were affected around Singapore.

18 of DBS and POSB's banking branches and ATMs across the island were plugged out from the internet network. Affected branches included Ngee Ann City, Raffles Place and its Asia Treasures branch at Changi Airport.

SingTel said that all business services are expected to be fully restored by 7pm today (Thursday) while its remaining services will be fully restored by 7am on Friday.

This delay was due to damages being "more extensive than originally accessed", SingTel said.

A SingTel spokesman originally said that "services disrupted by Wednesday afternoon's fire at a SingTel building are being progressively restored and should be up and running by Thursday 6am."

It added that over 100 engineers were working through Wednesday night to speed up restoration efforts.

In a statement released on Thursday, OpenNet explained that the fire damaged 81 of its fibre cables. Each cable has numerous fibre strands, and each fibre strand supports two fibre connections.

In all, 23,000 fibre strands were affected.

The large number of individual fibre strands and individual end-to-end fibre connection damaged has complicated restoration efforts, OpenNet said.

All fibre connections are expected to be restored within the next 24-36 hours.

Restoration update:

- Mio Voice: 30,000 affected, 66 per cent restored
- Broadband: 60,000 affected 76 per cent restored
- mio TV: 46,000 affected, 67 per cent restored
- Direct Exchange Lines: 7,900 affected, 95 per cent restored
- Mobile Base Stations (4G): 68 affected, 100 per cent restored
- Mobile Base Stations (3G): 81 affected, 89 per cent restored

grongloh@sph.com.sg

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