- POSTED: 09 Oct 2013 22:34
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A number of services in northern Singapore were knocked out after a fire broke out at SingTel's Bukit Panjang Exchange on Wednesday afternoon.
SINGAPORE: A number of services in northern Singapore were knocked out after a fire broke out at SingTel's Bukit Panjang Telephone Exchange building on Wednesday afternoon.
While some services have been restored, SingTel said its engineers will work through the night and expects all services to be restored by 6am Thursday.
In an update around 9.20pm, SingTel said its investigations showed that 33 fibre cables were damaged by the fire, and its engineers have so far managed to restore eight cables.
SingTel said that due to the fire, 100 mobile base stations were impacted.
60,000 fixed broadband lines, around 30,000 mioTV customers, around 30,000 voice lines were also affected.
The fire broke out at a cable room in SingTel's Bukit Panjang Telephone Exchange building. Though the fire was extinguished in 20 minutes, it damaged the network infrastructure and wreaked havoc on services that took much longer to restore.
SingTel said some fixed voice lines, broadband and TV services in areas like Woodlands, Bukit Panjang, Choa Chu Kang, Upper Bukit Timah and Mandai were affected.
Mobile services in parts of Woodlands, Marsiling and Kranji were not spared.
Telcos StarHub and M1 were also affected.
StarHub said its cable TV, cable and fibre broadband, and digital voice services for some of its customers were affected, as the telco leases some SingTel optical fibre capacity that runs through the exchange.
M1 also reported that broadband services for a number of its customers were affected.
The incident also affected bank services. Banks like DBS said some of their ATMs and AXS services were affected, and DBS said it extended operating hours of all branches by an hour.
DBS added that at 7:50pm, only two branches remained affected. It expects all banking services, including ATMs, to be restored by 8am Thursday.
UOB said its branches at Woodlands and Bukit Panjang were affected. A spokesman said there was minimal customer impact as the fire happened close to the end of banking hours.
The incident also affected a Singapore Pools draw, which had to be postponed till 9pm.
And retailers Channel NewsAsia spoke to said their customers could not pay using the Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS) cards.
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) is investigating the cause of the fire.
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is investigating the service disruption.
Telco M1 was recently fined a record S$1.5 million by IDA for service disruptions over four days in January this year.