Singtel fibre broadband Internet down, frustrating customers working from home, Tech News News & Top Stories

SINGAPORE – Some Singtel customers found themselves unable to connect to the Internet from home using fibre broadband on Tuesday morning (June 8) following overnight maintenance.

This is amid tightened Covid-19 measures in which working from home has been made the default mode of working in Singapore.

In a Facebook update just before 3pm on Tuesday, Singtel said 60 per cent of affected fibre broadband connections had been restored.

“Our engineers are working urgently to restore the remaining connections,” said the telco. “We apologise for the inconvenience caused as we know many of you are working from home. Please bear with us and thank you for your patience.”

According to updated information on outage tracking website Downdetector.com, the number of reported outages for the telco peaked at 1,526 at 12.15pm.

Some people reported outages as early as 1.30am, with the number of reports gradually rising later in the morning.

A Singtel Facebook post at 7.50am alerting users to the issues racked up more than 580 comments as at 3.30pm. A second Singtel post on the matter at about 9.50am drew more than 820 comments.

The downtime appeared to affect many who live in the eastern and north-eastern parts of Singapore, such as Tampines, Pasir Ris, Sengkang and Punggol, according to comments on Singtel’s Facebook posts.

Broadband Internet was apparently also not working for those in Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Kallang, Mountbatten, MacPherson, Tiong Bahru, Bukit Purmei and Yishun.

Customers said the Internet outage meant they had difficulty working from home, such as not being able to get into online meetings. This led to many using their mobile data to connect online instead of using broadband and Wi-Fi.

“I hope your crisis management or product team can comprehend that many of us are working from home,” wrote Facebook user Wilson See Wei Ren. “The least you could do is to relax the data usage or bandwidth (quota) of our mobile phones since that’s the only way for us to stay connected.”

Many people also asked why Singtel did not notify them earlier of the maintenance and why it had to be done during a time when working from home was the norm.

And while it was still the school holidays, the downtime affected some who were still doing home-based learning.

“If you are not getting a connection, please perform a sequential reboot of all your routers. We apologise for the inconvenience caused and thank you for your patience,” said Singtel on Facebook at 7.50am.

Replying to some customer comments, Singtel suggested that users power off their networking equipment such as routers, wait for one to three minutes, then power them back on again to help “resynchronise and refresh the connection”.

However, many customers who tried this method said it did not work for them and they were still unable to connect online.

Singtel later said in an update at around 9.50am that it was aware that some customers were still experiencing issues with their connection.

The Singtel outage is not the worst in recent months, however.

In December last year, M1 users were hit by a fibre broadband outage that lasted more than four hours for some.

That incident appeared to affect more customers, with 6,400 comments on an M1 Facebook post on the matter.

Downdetector.com logged around 9,800 outage reports for M1 at one point.