Max Fibre

A Fair and Open Broadband Network? Not in Singapore!

On Tuesday the Straits Times published an article entitled: “ customers switching to ” […. The article detailed how businesses “fed up with waiting for network builder OpenNet to connect them to are turning to Singtel”, due to the fact that Singtel maintains its own fibre links. Furthermore, since customers have only two choices – OpenNet or Singtel – and the former is notorious for delays and missed appointments, businesses looking to get hooked up quickly have virtually no choice but to turn to Singtel who, of course, is able to charge more for the convenience.

Fast forward to last year’s announcement that OpenNet would be sold to CityNet – a “Singtel owned business trust” [… – for $126 million, a far cry from the $750 million initial investment. The sale was opposed by 6 other Singaporean s who noted that: “If approved, the proposed consolidation would see SingTel becoming the 100 percent beneficial owner of the only other nationwide fixed telecommunications network in Singapore, apart from SingTel’s own network,” [… . When you consider also that CityNet is still the owner and manager of Singapore’s Exchanges [… (the buildings where all the fibre and telephone cables run to), it becomes clear that Singapore’s NGNBN is very far from the open and neutral landscape it was touted to be.

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