Monday, September 29, 2008

Singapore NGN - fibre grid

[1] | Singapore Chooses OpenNet for Next Gen Fiber Project 
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has selected the OpenNet consortium as its successful Network Company (NetCo). OpenNet will be contracted to provide passive fibre grid services for Singapore's Next Generation National Broadband Network (NGNBN). OpenNet will be making use of existing ducts and other underlying infrastructure, thereby minimizing disruption to the public and enabling the network to reach homes and buildings nationwide by 2012

Art Price, Chairman and CEO, Axia NetMedia, said: "OpenNet's approach is future-proof with no compromises from either the technology or business structure perspectives for the passive segment of the network. I believe that Singapore will be the showcase for how compelling the no-conflict open access fibre-to-the-premise solution can be for end-users in metropolitan communities."

Some key elements of the project:
  • As the selected NetCo, OpenNet will design, build and operate the passive infrastructure of the Next Gen NBN that will be capable of delivering speeds of up to 1 Gbps and beyond.
  • The Government of Singapore will provide a grant of up to S$750 million to the NetCo to support the network rollout.
  • OpenNet will offer attractive wholesale prices of S$15 per month per residential fiber connection and S$50 per month per non-residential fiber connection, to the Operating Companies or OpCos. Such wholesale prices are expected to bring about competitive retail prices in the ultra-high speed broadband market.
  • To encourage premise owners to connect their homes and businesses to the network, OpenNet is required to waive installation charges for home and building owners when the network first reaches their premises.
  • Under a Universal Service Obligation, which will take effect from 2013, OpenNet will also fulfill all subsequent requests to install fibre termination points in homes, offices and buildings.


Singapore is undertaking the world’s most radical structural separation of fixed telecoms following the award of the contract to build its National Broadband Network. (...)

OpenNet will design, build and operate a passive national broadband fibre-to-the-premises network with speeds of up to 1Gbps using up to S$750m provided by the government. 

SingTel is to transfer existing ducts, manholes and exchanges used for the NBN to an independent asset company by mid-2011 and sell down its stake in that entity by 2014. That independent company will be owned by a business trust working under a regulator-approved structure which in turn will lease those assets toOpenNet. 

However, OpenNet will directly own the fibre links. It will operate to a tight deadline —scheduled to reach 60 per cent of premises in Singapore by 2010 and 95 per cent of premises by 2012.OpenNet will also assume universal service obligations after 2013. 


The overall Singapore NBN plan is the most radical in the world. The duct and exchange network, the fibre and the electronics deployed on it, will effectively be split between three separated entities with a fourth layer of retail service provision.

Separation on this level has only previously been attempted on municipal rollouts in Amsterdam and Stockholm. The OpenNet win also provides both Axia NetMedia and SingTel’s Australian unit Optus with a credentials boost in their own RFP bids for the Australian national broadband network plan. 

The details of the structural separation arrangements, the progress of the build, and the business models the network fosters, will be watched closely by telco strategists and regulators in the rest of the world - especially in Europe where last week the European Parliament paved the way for national telecom regulators to push forward with structural separation arrangements.

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