Priority is to find out what caused SingTel facility fire: Dr Yaacob
- POSTED: 10 Oct 2013 18:58
- UPDATED: 11 Oct 2013 00:02
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Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said the priority is to get to the bottom of what sparked the fire at the SingTel facility that caused Wednesday's outage, to prevent such an incident from happening again.
SINGAPORE: Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim said he shares the frustrations of those affected by Wednesday's outage caused by a fire at SingTel's Bukit Panjang Exchange, calling it a “major incident”.
He noted that the priority is to get services fully restored and to get to the bottom of what sparked the fire, so as to prevent such an incident from happening again in the future.
Dr Yaacob was speaking on the sidelines of a visit to the SingTel facility, where he was briefed by staff and visited the affected cable room.
He also said that SingTel's engineers are working hard to restore the services, and that he was happy with the progress.
Dr Yaacob noted that the telephone exchange is a critical structure with systems and protections in place, but whether these were adequate, would depend on the outcome of the investigations.
He also addressed concerns about having sufficient backup systems.
Dr Yaacob said: "This is an area which IDA (Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore) has been concerned with long before anything has happened -- we've always been looking at this closely.
“Every incident will be a learning point for us, let's wait until we finish the investigation to find out what more we can do to strengthen our infrastructure.
“Clearly, there are things in which we will begin to learn because the systems are becoming very complex.
"But I'd like to assure Singaporeans that IDA is on top of the situation, because resilience, reliability, and robustness of the system is important for us as we get wired up across the island."
Dr Yaacob added that in order to minimise the number of incidents, it is important to know exactly where and which areas of infrastructure need to be strengthened.
"So I wouldn't want to wait for the next incident. Basically we look at our processes, look at our requirements -- are they adequate or not? If they're not, we have to raise it," he pointed out.
Dr Yaacob said that SingTel had handled the situation "quite well" based on its emergency plans and business continuity processes, and had been transparent about the incident from day one.
He also pointed to the telco's use of social media to share pictures and updates so that those affected could stay informed.