MDA fines StarHub over cable TV disruption

The Media Development Authority (MDA) has fined StarHub Cable Vision (SCV) S$50,000 for a cable television disruption on 28 September 2013.

The incident lasted for nearly five hours and is estimated to have affected about 170,000 SCV subscribers across various parts of Singapore.

Those impacted experienced a complete signal loss for both paid and free-to-air TV channels which are accessed through their SCV cable points. Services were progressively restored within five hours from the onset of the incident. Free-to-air TV channels were restored by 1.35 a.m., while other channels were fully restored by 5.30 a.m.

Investigations revealed that the root cause of the service disruption was a power trip of a switchboard at SCV’s Ayer Rajah Headend. This switchboard supplied power to equipment used for transmitting cable TV signals.

Their failure eventually resulted in the service disruption on 28 September 2013.

As a Nationwide Subscription Television Service Licensee, SCV must comply with license conditions on Quality of Service (QoS), which requires pay-TV services to be provided at reasonable quality that meets public expectations and is satisfactory to the MDA.

MDA determined that the disruption could have been prevented or made less severe if SCV had put in place effective contingency measures to deal with the power surge.

MDA thus found StarHub to be in contravention of its QoS license condition, and has imposed a financial penalty of S$50,000.