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IMDA Imposes $500,000 Penalty on SingNet for Fibre Broadband Service Disruption

The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has imposed a financial penalty of $500,000 on SingNet Pte Ltd (“SingNet”) for a fibre broadband service disruption which occurred on 3 December 2016.

SINGAPORE – 16 October, 2017: The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) has imposed a financial penalty of $500,000 on SingNet Pte Ltd (“SingNet”) for a fibre broadband service disruption which occurred on 3 December 2016. 

The incident affected close to 90% of SingNet’s fibre broadband subscribers, and lasted nearly 24 hours. Affected subscribers’ access to Internet services were progressively restored during the incident.

IMDA’s investigations revealed that the service disruption was triggered by a planned maintenance by SingNet on its Dynamic Host Control Protocol (DHCP) servers.  The maintenance activity, which was intended to install security patches, overloaded the DHCP servers and resulted in their inability to process subscribers’ requests for Internet Protocol addresses. As a result, affected subscribers could not access the Internet. 

While it was the planned maintenance which ultimately caused the overload, IMDA’s investigations showed that there were already warning signs in the lead-up to the incident. Specifically, the utilisation rate of SingNet’s DHCP servers had been steadily increasing and were running at 80-90% levels even before the incident.

SingNet had failed to take prompt action to address the high utilisation loads before the incident. In view of the high utilisation levels, SingNet should have exercised greater due diligence and caution when planning the installation of security patches for its DHCP servers to prevent the overload.

IMDA thus finds SingNet to be in contravention of the Code of Practice for Telecommunication Service Resiliency 2016 and has imposed a financial penalty of $500,000 for this breach. 

In determining the quantum of the financial penalty, IMDA took into consideration mitigating factors such as the compensation which SingNet had offered to affected customers, preventive measures it has taken to avoid a recurrence of a similar incident, as well as the close co-operation provided to IMDA during the investigation process. IMDA notes that SingNet has since upgraded its existing DHCP servers, and is conducting an end-to-end review of its broadband network architecture, vendor management of critical platforms and its escalation process to improve the resiliency of its network. 


About Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA)
The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) will develop a vibrant, world-class infocomm media sector that drives the economy, connects people, bonds communities and powers Singapore's Smart Nation vision. IMDA does this by developing talent, strengthening business capabilities, and enhancing Singapore's ICT and media infrastructure. IMDA also regulates the telecommunications and media sectors to safeguard consumer interests while fostering a pro-business environment. IMDA also enhances Singapore’s data protection regime through the Personal Data Protection Commission. For more news and information, visit or follow IMDA on Facebook IMDAsg and Twitter @IMDAsg.

For media clarifications, please contact:

Adrian CHAN (Mr)
Senior Manager, Communications & Marketing, IMDA
DID: (65) 6211 1510

Angie LOW (Ms)
Senior Manager, Communications & Marketing, IMDA
DID: (65) 6211 0599


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