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IMDA fines StarHub S$210,000 and M1 S$400,000 for internet disruptions during circuit breaker

SINGAPORE — The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has fined StarHub and M1 for internet service disruptions that happened during the circuit breaker.

SINGAPORE — The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has fined StarHub and M1 for internet service disruptions that happened during the circuit breaker.

In a statement on Sunday (Sept 6), IMDA said that StarHub has been fined S$210,000, while M1 received almost double the amount at S$400,000.

The circuit breaker months during April and May, imposed to prevent the spread of Covid-19, had school children learning from home while adults were working from home.

Based on IMDA’s investigations, up to 250,000 broadband subscribers were affected for close to five hours when StarHub’s broadband service was disrupted on April 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,” read the statement.

The agency found StarHub to have contravened the Code of Practice for Telecommunication Service Resilience 2016.

When deciding the amount to fine StarHub, IMDA said it considered the telco’s efforts to restore services as soon as possible, and its prompt communication and compensation to affected subscribers.

As for M1, there were two service disruptions on May 12 and 13, which affected 38,000 subscribers in total.

The first incident was caused by a corrupted profile database in M1’s broadband network gateway, causing inconvenience to 18,000 subscribers for 23 hours.

The second incident affected up to 20,000 subscribers for six hours. The incident was caused by a software fault in M1’s network equipment, which affected the routing of internet traffic for the subscribers.

IMDA found that the first incident occurred because M1’s staff and vendor had not followed prescribed procedures, while the second was due to a software fault of an equipment which M1 could not have reasonably foreseen.

IMDA found M1 to have breached the Code in the first incident but not the second.

When deciding the amount to fine, IMDA considered the fact that the disruption lasted almost a full day and caused significant inconvenience to affected subscribers, and also the telco’s proactive compensation to affected subscribers after the incident.

IMDA’s deputy chief executive, Aileen Chua, said: “We take a serious view of any service disruption to public telecommunications services, particularly during the circuit breaker period when most people were working and studying from home, and will take firm and decisive action to safeguard our consumers’ interests.

“Operators must communicate any service difficulties with their customers and rectify incidents expeditiously, and should provide good service recovery measures to affected customers.”

Related topics

StarHub M1 telco internet

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