About Fibre Cable Cut Restoration

  • A fibre cable cut occurs when a third-party contractor cuts or damages NetLink Trust’s underground fibre cables. There were 23 cable cuts, from 2013 to 2018, caused by third-party contractors involved in the construction of new MRT lines, power cabling, water and sewage piping works and other development projects.

  • When there is a fibre cable cut, some end-users’ internet services will be affected. The extent of the service outage depends on the severity of the fibre cable damage. Retail Service Providers which operate the active network will detect the outage and notify NetLink Trust’s 24-hour Network Operations Centre (“NOC”) of the service outage. NetLink Trust will work closely with the Retail Service Providers to identify and repair the affected connections. NetLink Trust will despatch a cable restoration team onsite to diagnose the extent of the damage and determine the best means to repair the affected fibre cables.

  • The time taken for service restoration varies, depending on the extent of the damage as well as the site and weather conditions. Ground conditions unique to each incident (e.g. safety of site as a result of loose soil, heavy rain, flooding, etc.) may also hamper the speed of restoration. NetLink Trust always endeavour to restore the affected fibre cables as expeditiously as possible. As NetLink Trust progressively restores the affected fibre cables, the respective Retail Service Providers would be advised to perform the necessary checks at their end to validate the status of their affected services. In turn, the Retail Service Providers would validate that service to affected end-Users have been restored. Such validations require additional time. This could take up to a few hours more to confirm that all connections are up after the cables have been restored by NetLink Trust.

  • NetLink Trust provides periodic updates on the cable restoration progress to Retail Service Providers till the services are fully restored. Retail Service Providers typically post regular updates on their Facebook page.  NetLink Trust also post regular updates on its website http://www.netlinktrust.com.

  • There are existing procedures to prevent fibre cable cut incidents. All third-party contractors performing earthworks (such as excavation, piling or drilling) must comply with Section 29(1) of the Telecommunications Act (Chapter 323), which requires them to notify NetLink Trust prior to commencement of any earthworks. Contractors must purchase plant maps from NetLink Trust and engage a licensed telecommunication cable detection worker (TCDW) to identify and locate the position of underground telecom cables. Contractors who fail to observe precautions and damage fibre cables may be fined up to S$1 million by the authorities and/or jailed for five years.