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SingTel fined US$310K for fixed-line, pay TV outages

Singapore's IT and media regulators order the telco to pay a total of S$380,000 in fines over several service outages which affected its fixed-line telephone and IPTV subscribers last year.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

SINGAPORE--Singapore telco Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel) has been slapped with fines amounting to S$380,000 (US$310,159) by two of the country's regulators over outages to its fixed-line voice and pay TV services last year.

In a statement Friday, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) said it has implemented a fine of S$300,000 (US$244,862) on the telco for disrupting the fixed-line telephone service of users in parts of Changi, Pasir Ris and Tampines during Oct. 28 and 29, 2011 as well as subscribers in Bukit Panjang, Bukit Timah and Woodlands on Nov. 4, 2011.

In a separate statement, Media Development Authority (MDA) said the pay TV services of users in the same areas were distrupted during the same period. Thus, SingNet, a SingTel subsidiary, will be required to pay a S$80,000 (US$65,297) fine.

According to IDA, the cause of service disruptions was a hardware limitation in SingTel's equipment. The regulator was "not satisfied that SingTel had actively monitored and taken adequate steps to ensure sufficient hardware capacity was provided".

IDA added that it had taken into account the disruption was localized and affected a total of more than 500 end users.

MDA said it has fined SingNet for violating its quality of service licence conditions which requires pay TV operators to provide pay TV services "at reasonable quality that meets public expectations and is satisfactory to the MDA". About 850 pay TV subscribers were affected by the outage, it added.

Under the Telecommunications Act, the maximum fine which IDA can impose for contravention of the Service Resiliency Code is up to S$1 million (US$816,207) or 10 percent of the annual turnover of a licensee, whichever is higher.

The fines come just four months after SingTel was fined S$400,000 (US$313,063) in May by IDA for a 3G outage that occurred in September 2011.

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