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StarHub: Communication breakdown between SingTel and OpenNet?

SINGAPORE — A new war of words has erupted between SingTel and StarHub, with the latter yesterday refuting “unwarranted” criticism that it had not properly communicated its connectivity problems in the aftermath of the fire at SingTel’s Bukit Panjang building last Wednesday.

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SINGAPORE — A new war of words has erupted between SingTel and StarHub, with the latter yesterday refuting “unwarranted” criticism that it had not properly communicated its connectivity problems in the aftermath of the fire at SingTel’s Bukit Panjang building last Wednesday.

Since “day one”, StarHub has been sending the “full set of details of affected fibre connections three to four times daily to OpenNet” via email and phone calls, said its Chief Marketing Officer Jeannie Ong.

“We are surprised by SingTel’s claim that it has only received our connectivity problems at 3.30am on Monday. StarHub had been providing the details of the affected connections to OpenNet at regular intervals on a daily basis,” she said. “It appears that there is a communication breakdown between OpenNet and its key subcontractor, SingTel.”

She was responding to SingTel Consumer Singapore CEO Yuen Kuan Moon’s accusation on Monday that StarHub went to the press first about its affected customers instead of informing the telco about the issue. He added that StarHub turned to the media to advance its agenda.

OpenNet is responsible for the Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (NGNBN).

Ms Ong also took a swipe at SingTel, citing how SingTel’s customers’ connections have been fully restored, unlike for other retail service providers (RSPs).

StarHub said some 300 of its customers were still affected as of 4pm yesterday, while that for M1 was 200.

“It is important that SingTel, in the interests of the NGNBN, should not have an unfair advantage over other RSPs such as StarHub,” she added. “SingTel must restore all connections, whether or not they are their customers, on a fair and equal basis.”

Noting that it was contractually obliged to liaise through OpenNet with SingTel under terms of the NGNBN, Ms Ong added that it has been reporting affected cases “several times a day” to Nucleus Connect — the operating firm for the NGNBN’s active infrastructure — which then routes the information to OpenNet.

“We strongly urge OpenNet and SingTel to bridge their communication and work closely to rectify those outstanding fibre connections still affected.” Ms Ong added: “We cannot afford to be distracted by baseless claims when the greater issue is in restoring full connectivity to the customers and organisations that are depending on us.”

In response, SingTel said: “We understand how much Singaporeans rely on their communications services. That’s why we are focused on working with OpenNet to restore connections for all operators on a fair and equal basis, and have ramped up our resources to respond as quickly as possible.”

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