SingTel exchange fire sparks outages

Dylan Bushell-Embling
11 Oct 2013

Update: OpenNet has announced that all the cables damaged in the fire have been restored, but the company is still working with service providers to ensure customer connections are functional.

A fire at a SingTel exchange in Singapore has damaged 81 fiber cables operated by OpenNet, the fiber joint venture building the Next-Generation NBN.

The fire damaged around 23,000 fiber strands, disrupting services for some 46,000 individual fiber connections, OpenNet revealed.

The outage affected services in Bukit Batok, Bukit Panjang, Bukit Timah, Choa Chu Kang, Kranji, Marsiling, Teck Whye, and Woodlands. Full restoration is expected to be complete this morning.

SingTel experienced disruptions to 100 mobile base stations, 60,000 fixed broadband lines, and some 30,000 voice lines.

Rivals StarHub and M1, which lease some SingTel fiber capacity, also reported disruptions to some fiber broadband services. In StarHub's case, cable TV and digital voice services were also affected.

The outage also affected a number of banks, including some ATM services.

IDA Singapore has announced it is investigating the outage after receiving a number of reports. The regulator recently fined M1 a record S$1.5 million ($1.2 million) over a January outage caused by an electrical failure.

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