Earlier this week, Starhub got into the news for a reason no one would have expected: they’re going to sell electricity.
It’s indeed shocking to many, for it’s like saying that Singtel is going to sell cai png, but I digress: the world of business is so weird, we laymen would rather prefer to just study hard and get a good job.
Then yesterday, M1 made an equally surprisingly announcement: they, too, are going to sell electricity, but primarily to people in Jurong.
Now, if Starhub’s electricity is as unsteady as its broadband service yesterday, then it’ll be a hard nut to crack.
Because yesterday, for one hour, there was an outage and you bet people aren’t happy.
Here’re seven facts about this, lest you’re a Singtel / M1 user who DGAF.
Starhub suffered an outage from about 10:10 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. the next day
What goes through your mind when you can’t connect to your Wi-fi?
- Have I paid my bills?
- Do I need to restart my router?
Most would have gone to the second option. But yesterday, it was none of the above: from around 10:10 p.m., the outage began silently. A check on downdetector however showed a spike in complaints from 10:00 p.m.
However, it seems like Starhub made an announcement only at 11:00 p.m. (though I’m not certain if they made one prior to this)
Simply put, that one hour, in which people didn’t know about the outage, could have been hell for many – especially people using desktop / laptop.
The outage only affected fibre and cable home broadband, and not mobile data.
According to Starhub, the issue has been rectified at 12:30 a.m.
That’s about 2+ hours of many homes without Wi-fi.
Come to think of it, I’ll rather an outage of electricity than an outage of broadband.
What caused it?
Network hardware issue.
It’s unknown what issue it was (yet), but some have speculated it to its DNS system.
Think of DNS server as a big machine that translates your request (e.g. “I want a plate of chicken rice”) to the internet (e.g. kitchen got your order).
If that is down, whatever you (or to be precise, your modem) request would not return anything, because no machine is translating your request.
Yeah, it’s that complicated.
During the outage, people were outraged
It would be nice if we know there’s an outage, but it seems like even after so many outages, telcos aren’t exactly learning.
People are complaining that calling Starhub’s customer service hotlines were futile, so many took it to Facebook to complain.
One of the best suggestions came from this fellow:
Indeed it would. At least it’ll save the life of a person who’s watching Netflix on his phone, unaware that the phone has switched from Wi-fi to data (gosh, the bills).
Two days ago, another outage occurred
If you live in Jurong, then you must be thinking that it could be the new Yishun.
On Wednesday night, a fibre network outage occurred, though it was caused by a third party that accidentally cut a fibre wire in Jurong. The outage affected almost 700 users from about 6:00 p.m. to the next day 4:00 a.m.
Hopefully, we won’t get used to outages like how we get used to MRT breakdowns #justsaying
Starhub’s previous outage was a major one that happened again and again
I’m afraid I’ll have to highlight this: remember back in October 2016, there was a series of Starhub outages for three days, each time occurring for about two hours?
Yeah, back then, people were worried that it could have been a cyber-attack, but it turned out to be insufficient capacity in their servers.
Which, if you were to think about it, is just as serious.
Here’s some context for the uninitiated: Internet needs a physical server. Whether you’re reading this on your desktop, mobile or on our app, these words are stored in a physical server. And for these words to appear on your device, they go through physical cables.
And we are paying for the server as well (see, you can read for free while we have to pay, so support us by subscribing to our YouTube channel lah?).
So what happens is that Starhub’s servers aren’t enough to handle the traffic, leading to an outage.
For websites, this happen often as well: in the past, our website went down because we could not handle the large traffic. The solution is to get bigger servers, which cost more.
Last year, Starhub promised to build more infrastructure to handle the load.
My question: who bears the cost?
(Maybe that’s why they’re selling electricity #justsaying)
What to do if your Starhub connection is still down?
After an outage, this might happen so it’s important to know this, assuming that outage could be telco’s second name.
This is when you really have to implement the second option: restart your router.
If that does not help, try a reboot of your modem. Here are the steps (follow them in order, don’t suka suka skip a step):
- Off the power of your modem and router
- Remove the power cord from the modem and router
- Wait for a minute or so (so that all the electricity will be out of the devices)
- Plug in the power cord for modem first and turn it on
- Wait a while (maybe one minute)
- Plug in the power cord for your router and turn it on
If this still doesn’t work, then go to Option 1: check if your bill is paid liao or not.
Because the problem might lie in you #justsaying
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