Since 1 June 2019, earthworks contractors were given greater clarity on the requirements they have to comply with for projects which involve earthworks to be carried out in the vicinity of underground telecommunication cables, through the issuance of a standardised set of Earthworks Requirements.

The Earthworks Requirements include a 9-Step Process which need to be complied with by the earthworks contractors prior to the commencement of earthworks. The Earthworks Requirements were jointly developed by IMDA and the relevant Telcos through an industry consultation together with some major contractors.

These requirements aim to minimise the risk of telecommunication cable cut incidents, which have been a leading cause of telecommunication service disruptions in recent years, and to provide greater clarity for both Telcos and earthworks contractors in terms of the requirements to be adopted.

The industry is to ensure compliance with the following 9-Step Process and the Earthworks Requirements so as to prevent damage to underground telecommunication cables.

Earthworks Requirements

9-Step Process

Step 1: Obtain service layout plan from Telco

Step 2: Engage Licensed Telecommunication Cable Detection Worker (“TCDW”) to carry out cable detection work

Step 3: Submit Notice for Commencement of Earthworks (“NCE”) to Telco

Step 4: Conduct Joint Site Meeting

Step 5: Obtain Conditional Approval for Digging of Trial Holes from Telco

Step 6: Dig Trial Holes to ascertain exact location / route of telecommunication cables

Step 7: Conduct Joint Trial Holes Inspection

Step 8: Submit Application for Final Approval for Commencement of Earthworks to Telco

Step 9: Obtain Final Approval for Commencement of Earthworks from Telco


English (with English subtitles) video

Mandarin (with Chinese subtitles) video

English (with Tamil subtitles) video

Mandarin (with Bengali subtitles) video


Click on the links below to view the hi-res infographic in your preferred languages to better understand the 9-step process.

Who is this for?

The industry including earthworks contractors and workers (both local and foreign).


For more information, please contact us at 6377 3800 or email us at info@imda.gov.sg.

Last updated on: 15 Mar 2022