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RealTime IT News

Singapore Telcos Able To Handle Communications Demand

Singapore telcos SingTel and StarHub both experienced marked increases in the number of IDD calls made from the island Republic to the U.S. shortly after the first hijacked plane slammed into New York's World Trade Center.

Between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. Singapore time yesterday, SingTel noted that the number of calls to the U.S. on its network increased by more than 35 times, while StarHub recorded more than 12 "spikes" on its IDD network.

Internet traffic traversing SingTel's network increased by about 15 percent on the whole, while traffic on StarHub Internet climbed by 10 percent. StarHub spokesperson Jeannie Ong added that the volume of e-mail traffic spiked more than seven times from 8 p.m. to midnight last night.

SingTel had this morning stated that it was notifying its customers that they may experience difficulty in getting through to New York (area code 212) and Washington D.C. (area code 202) due to the high volume of calls to these cities from all over the world.

It had asked its customers to exercise patience and to "make calls only when necessary," noting in its statement that a number of telcos in the U.S. had advised their customers that a surge in calls and possible equipment damage have resulted in congestion on their networks.

By 6 p.m. today, however, SingTel announced that it was detecting less congestion in its telephone network and that the situation was improving. "The number of calls from Singapore to the U.S., while still higher than usual, is progressively approaching normal levels. Call connections are also almost back to normal," a SingTel statement read.

Both telcos also announced that their networks were able to handle the unusual increase in Internet and IDD traffic resulting from the tragedy in New York and Washington D.C.

"We have sufficient capacity and resources to deal with the surge of calls so no special action was required," SingTel stated.

Added StarHub's Ong, "There is no need to increase bandwidth as we can still handle the increased traffic."