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.