The Media Development Authority (MDA) has fined cable vision service provider Starhub S$50,000 yesterday (May 15) for a service disruption in 2013. On Sep 28 2013, about 170,000 Starhub Cable Vision (SCV) subscribers across different areas of Singapore see a complete loss of television signal for 5 hours. The cause of the service disruption is a power trip of the switching board which supplied power to its signal transmitters at Starhub’s Ayer Rajah Data Centre.

In a press release, MDA said:

“MDA has determined that the disruption could have been prevented or made less severe if SCV had put in place effective contingency measures to deal with the power surge, such that the back-up system would not have been overloaded”

Photo from MDA website
Photo from MDA website

As for determining the penalty fine amount, MDA claimed that it considered factors like Starhub’s service recovery option and goodwill measures Starhub implemented to make up for the service disruption.

However what is more notable is the time taken for MDA to issue the fine. The fine was only finalized and effected yesterday in 2015 – for a service disruption which occurred nearly 2 years ago. What is the purpose of a penalty 2 year late and how would it constitute a deterrence to other companies?

A few weeks ago on April 22, telecommunication company Singtel saw an 8 hour long disruption of its 3G and 4G services. Would the Singapore authority take 2 years to issue a fine for Singtel?