News Releases

Singtel accepts IDA decision on Bukit Panjang Fire

Singapore, 6 May 2014 - Singtel accepts the findings of the investigation by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) into the fire at the Bukit Panjang Exchange on 9 October 2013, and the financial penalty imposed.

This was an unprecedented incident, and we recognise the impact on businesses and customers.  We apologise once again for the inconvenience caused.   We take our obligations seriously and have provided full assistance to IDA in its investigations.

We note IDA’s assessment that Singtel’s network architecture is generally in line with international standards, a finding consistent with that of the Singtel Board Committee of Inquiry (“BCOI”), and its acknowledgment of the positive actions we have taken to date. 

Since the incident, it has been Singtel’s top priority to make the improvements necessary to prevent a recurrence and ensure our network remains resilient.  We have made good progress in the areas of fire prevention, network design and stakeholder engagement.  These include:

  1. Replacement of lead seals in the exchanges with Multi-Cable Transit systems[1] expected to be completed by July 2014, earlier than the previously announced timeframe of end 2014
  2. Installation of automatic fire suppression systems within the cable chambers, expected to be completed by end 2014
  3. Enhanced fire safety training and assessment for staff and supervisors engaged in hot-works and other high-risk activities; ensure strict adherence to standard operating procedures
  4. Enhancing our Operations Support System and processes to ensure compliance with fibre path diversity requirements for enterprise customers' redundancy and path diversity needs
  5. Actively participating in an industry taskforce involving CityNet, M1, OpenNet and StarHub to develop a Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network business continuity plan

We have learnt from this incident.  We will implement the recommendations identified by the BCOI and continually benchmark our operations against international best practices.  We welcome IDA’s review of our efforts as we strengthen our operations and networks to deliver the best customer experience.  We are also committed to enhancing industry co-operation to ensure that Singapore’s telecoms infrastructure remains resilient.

[1] Multi Cable Transit system: A modular cable sealing system that provides protection from fire, smoke, water and blast pressures at the point where cables enter an exchange through the cable chamber.