06 Sep

StarHub, M1 fined over broadband service disruptions during COVID-19 circuit breaker

StarHub and M1 have been fined by IMDA over disruptions to their Broadband services in April and May respectively.

StarHub was fined $210,000 while M1 was fined $400,000 according to IMDA.

IMDA took into considerations “relevant factors such as the duration, impact, and customers service measures adopted by the operators to mitigate impact”.  The authorities said it has concluded its investigations and found that the telcos have contravened the Code of Practice for Telecommunication Service Resilience 2016.

StarHub’s service disruption affected up to 250,000 broadband subscribers for close to five hours  on Apr 15.

The incident occurred when a StarHub staff made a configuration error during a planned network migration exercise.

“IMDA’s investigations found that the incident could have been prevented if StarHub had better supervised its staff during the migration exercise,” said the authority.

It decided on a S$210,000 fine for the telco, having also considered its “efforts to restore services as soon as possible, and its prompt communication and compensation to affected subscribers”, added IMDA.

M1’s broadband service was disrupted over two days on May 12 and 13.

The first incident lasted 23 hours from 7am on May 12 to 6am on May 13, affecting about 18,000 customers.

The cause of the disruption was “a corrupted profile database in M1’s broadband network gateway”, said IMDA.

The next incident on May 13 lasted about six hours and affected up to 20,000 subscribers.

It “was caused by a software fault in M1’s network equipment, which affected the routing of Internet traffic for affected M1 subscribers”, said the authority.

“IMDA’s investigations found that the first incident occurred because M1’s staff and vendor had not followed prescribed procedures. For the second incident, IMDA assessed that as the software fault was the first of its kind for such equipment, M1 could not have reasonably foreseen and prevented the incident.”

On the amount of penalty given to M1 – S$400,000 – the authority said it also considered that the disruption “lasted almost a full day, causing significant inconvenience to affected subscribers, and M1’s proactive compensation to affected subscribers following the incident”.

15 Apr

StarHub users hit by Fibre Broadband disruptions

StarHub Store

SINGAPORE: StarHub users across Singapore reported issues with their Internet service on Wednesday (Apr 15), with frustrated customers taking to social media to complain of an outage.

The disruption began at about 11am, according to posts on Twitter and on StarHub’s Facebook page.

In its latest update at 5.30pm, the telco said that the affected fibre broadband services are being “progressively restored”, adding that there is no evidence pointing to a cyber attack.

About 6000 reports of disruption to StarHub Fibre Broadband services.

“We have rectified a network issue with one of our Domain Name Servers that handles Internet traffic routing. Restoration of services is being closely monitored,” said StarHub in a Facebook post.

“We will bring you further updates upon full service restoration.”

StarHub had said in the morning that fibre services to some customers in the North and North-East regions were temporarily affected for about 20 minutes due to a network equipment fault.

It added that services resumed progressively after backup equipment immediately took over, and advised customers to reboot their modems and routers to refresh their data connection.

However, users were still reporting outages in the afternoon, with many complaining about being unable to work from home amid the COVID-19 circuit breaker measures.

This article was first sighted on Channel News Asia

14 Nov

Fibre Services outage

SINGAPORE – A fibre broadband service disruption in the eastern part of Singapore on Wednesday afternoon (Nov 14) has affected about 10,000 customers and some of them might get services back after only more than 24 hours.

In a statement on Wednesday night, NetLink Trust – the country’s fibre broadband network builder – said that services will be progressively restored by late Thursday afternoon.

It first received reports of a fibre service interruption at around 2.50pm. This means some customers might be without fibre broadband services – which includes Wi-Fi Internet connection – for more than 24 hours.

The outage affected users of all three major telcos and Internet service provider MyRepublic.

NetLink Trust said that the interruption was caused by a third-party contractor which severed a number of fibre cables while performing construction works along Tampines Avenue 9.

The network builder deployed its recovery team onsite and fibre service restoration is underway. It is also working with relevant parties to restore services to all affected areas, which includes the vicinity around Pasir Ris, Tampines, Changi and Loyang.

It urged affected customers to monitor NetLink Trust’s website at www.netlinktrust.com for updates.

Earlier in the day, Singtel, StarHub, M1 and MyRepublic posted on their Facebook pages that users in some areas like Tampines and Pasir Ris might experience difficulties accessing fibre Internet services, including Wi-Fi, television and phone services.

Singtel also said that some of its Wi-Fi hot spots on the island were affected, but these services have since been fully restored, according to an update at 6.46pm.

But fibre broadband, fixed voice and Singtel TV services in the north-eastern part of Singapore services remain affected.

Some netizens said that areas like Punggol and Sengkang were also affected by the fibre broadband downtime.

Housewife Kendra Koh, 26, a StarHub customer who lives in Pasir Ris, said she began experiencing difficulties connecting to Wi-Fi at around 3pm. She eventually had to buy unlimited mobile data for one day from another mobile service provider for one of her two cellphones so that she could connect her Internet TV set to the phone’s wireless hot spot.

“This is not the first time that this has happened. It has happened at least a couple of times recently and it’s quite ridiculous,” said Ms Koh.

Telco regulator Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said that it is aware that a cable cut incident resulted in the service disruption to fixed-line telecom services to users in some eastern parts of Singapore such as Tampines.

“IMDA is investigating the incident and has asked affected service providers to restore services expeditiously,” he said.

In an update at 9.18pm, StarHub said that as a gesture of goodwill and appreciation, it will offer affected fibre customers a $10 rebate on their December bill.

Singtel also said that it would follow up with affected customers to waive their local mobile data charges until services are restored.

At 7.15am on Thursday morning, M1 said in a statement on its Facebook page that about half of its affected customers had their services restored.

As of 9.49am, Singtel said that progressive restoration of the affected broadband services was at 80 per cent. It also added that all fixed voice services had been restored by 2am.

StarHub said at 10.50am that NetLink Trust had restored approximately 80 per cent of the affected underground fibre cables serving its customers.

Article first sighted on The Straits Times.

25 Oct

Starhub outage

SINGAPORE — StarHub has yet to determine the root cause of the disruptions faced by its customers on Saturday (Oct 22) and again on Monday, but said there were similarities between the two incidents.

The Cyber Security Agency (CSA) and the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) also said the possibility of a cyberattack cannot be ruled out. In a joint statement, the CSA and IMDA said: “We have been paying close attention to developments as it happened on the heel of Friday’s attack against the US-based Domain Name System service provider, Dyn. We cannot rule out the possibility that this was a DDOS attack. What is important now is for StarHub to determine the root cause of the problem and prevent a recurrence.”

A  distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack typically occurs when multiple systems flood the bandwidth of a targeted system.

StarHub said in a separate statement on Tuesday that the disruption on Monday night was due to a spike in data traffic to their Domain Name Servers (DNS), and as such affected “some of our home broadband customers”. It added that the service was fully restored at about 11.25pm the same day.

“There was no impact on mobile, enterprise and home voice services, and the security of our customers’ information was not compromised,” StarHub said.

The IMDA is working with StarHub to investigate the matter, and strengthen its infrastructure and processes.

Other telcos have been advised to step up their defences in case there are similar disruptions to their systems. The CSA is also “studying and addressing the risks of DDoS attacks on our communications systems, as well as the measures to mitigate the impact of such attacks if they happen. CSA will also reach out to educate the public and businesses on the need to properly secure their systems”, the statement added.

Frustrated StarHub fibre broadband users were unable to connect to the Internet on Monday night, the second such disruption in three days.

From about 10pm on Monday, users had posted on StarHub’s Facebook page complaining of the service disruption. According to users, areas affected included Toa Payoh, Ghim Moh and Tanah Merah.

StarHub said on Facebook at 10.40pm that that it was aware that “some broadband customers” have been facing difficulties. “We are looking into this right now, and will post updates here as soon as we can,” the telco added. StarHub later updated that a network equipment issue had affected residential broadband service since about 10pm on Monday. The issue was rectified at 11.20pm, and the telco was investigating the root cause of the incident.

Facebook user Stephen Lam wrote: “Thanks for acknowledg(ing) that you are aware of the issue. Now please get it fix at the soonest, while I understand technical issue could be unpredictable but it is very annoying to experience disruption twice in 72 hours.”

According to figures on downdetector.sg, which offers a realtime overview of status information and outages for digital services, the number of outage reports peaked at more than 3,400 at close to 11pm on Monday.

On Saturday, StarHub broadband users were plagued by similar issues. The outage was rectified the next day at 2am. StarHub said on Facebook that the outage was due to “a network equipment issue”.

Article first sighted on Today.