Singtel fined SG$500,000 for fibre broadband service disruption

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has fined Singtel SG$500,000 for a fibre broadband service disruption which occurred on 3 December 2016. According to a press statement, the incident affected close to 90% of SingNet’s fibre broadband subscribers, and lasted nearly 24 hours. Affected subscribers’ access to Internet services were progressively restored during the incident.

The report added that the service disruption was triggered by a planned maintenance by SingNet on its Dynamic Host Control Protocol (DHCP) servers, according to IMDA investigations. The maintenance activity, which was intended to install security patches, overloaded the DHCP servers and resulted subscribers not being able to access the Internet.

The IMDA release added that while it was the planned maintenance which ultimately caused the overload, its investigations showed that there were already warning signs in the lead-up to the incident. As such, SingNet had failed to take prompt action to address the high utilisation loads before the incident.

“In view of the high utilisation levels, SingNet should have exercised greater due diligence and caution when planning the installation of security patches for its DHCP servers to prevent the overload,” the IMDA report added.

As such, Singtel’s SingNet was found to be in contravention of the Code of Practice for Telecommunication Service Resiliency 2016. The report concluded that SingNet has since upgraded its existing DHCP servers, and is conducting an end-to-end review to improve the resiliency of its network.