Angry at being fired after a year at his job, Terrance Tan Khoon Shan decided to take revenge.
The 35-year-old ex-SingTel engineer cut some $185,000 worth of fibre optic cables early last year, causing Internet disruption in 12 housing estates, including Toa Payoh, Bishan, Ang Mo Kio, Clementi, Yishun, Sembawang and Sengkang.
Yesterday morning in court, Tan was jailed 15 months.
The cables belonged to OpenNet, appointed by the Government to lay the fibre-optic network islandwide to provide ultra-high speed Internet access to end-users.
SingTel is one of the four companies which form the OpenNet consortium.
Tan was hired as a SingTel engineering officer on Aug 18, 2009.
He was fired on Sept 21, 2010.
The disgruntled man then plotted to sabotage his supervisors by damaging fibre splicing boxes, which contain fibre optic cables.
This would disrupt the supervisors' fibre optic cable installation work.
They would then have to attend to complaints by subscribers experiencing loss of Internet access.
Early last year, Tan was at an HDB flat in Clementi when he found a set of keys on top of a fibre splicing box inside a telephone riser.
He discovered that the keys could operate the locking mechanism of similar boxes.
In late March last year, Tan began accessing fibre cable boxes using the keys he found.
He would also cut the fibre optic cable carrying incoming network data using a wire cutter.
Although only one cable was cut in each fibre slicing box, disruption was caused to all flats subscribing to the fibre network served by that box.
In total, Tan faced 617 charges. The court proceeded on 60.
Another 557 similar charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.
Tan was sentenced to three months' jail on each of the 60 charges, with five to run consecutively, making a total of 15 months' imprisonment.
Tan could have faced up to three years' jail and a maximum fine of $10,000 for each charge considered.
This article was first published in The New Paper.