SingTel fined $4.8m over fire outage

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net
Regulator IDA Singapore has fined meted out S$6.5 million ($5.2 million) in fines to SingTel and its NG-NBN affiliates over a fixed-line outage caused by a fire at the Bukit Panjang Exchange.
 
The October fire damaged 81 fiber cables, disrupting around 46,000 fiber connections, and affecting nearly 270,000 telecom and broadband subscribers. The damage happened on October 9, and services were fully restored on October 17.
 
IDA said its investigation had determined that SingTel, NG-NBN netco OpenNet and infrastructure trust CityNet had not fulfilled their obligations to provide sufficiently resilient telecom systems and to restore services to effective end users as quickly as possible.
 
SingTel was fined S$6 million ($4.8 million) for the outage. IDA concurred with SingTel's own internal investigation which determined that the fire was likely caused by the unauthorized use of a blowtorch by one of its technicians during maintenance works.
 
IDA's investigations determined that the disruptions could have been prevented had SingTel enforced its standard operating procedures and work safety practices.
 
SingTel's business continuity management plan also did not have contingency plans to address serious outage situations. IDA also took SingTel to task for having a single point of failure in the exchange where cable rings were temporarily rerouted due to construction work nearby, and wrongly assuming that some fibre paths were diverse without fully testing them.
 

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