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OpenNet ramps up installation capacity to meet demand

Veronica C. Silva | July 11, 2012
NetCo responds to IDA's directions to modify NBN interconnection plan.

The consortium tasked to roll out the backbone for Singapore's Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN) has announced that it will ramp up its installation capacity following directions from the Info-communications Development Authority (IDA).

In a statement released shortly after the IDA announced the results of its review of OpenNet's  Interconnection Offer (ICO), the joint venture said it will increase its current  installation capacity from 2,400 to 3,100 per week effective August 2012. A dedicated 40 slots per day for the non-residential segment is part of this commitment to increase capacity.

OpenNet is a joint venture among four companies tasked to build, manage and operate a nationwide all-fibre platform for Singapore's Next Gen NBN. These companies forming the Next Gen NBN NetCo are Axia NetMedia (Axia), Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel), Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) and SP Telecommunications (SPT).

Last week, the IDA asked OpenNet to modify its ICO following a review of OpenNet's draft revised ICO of November 2011 and further amendments, public consultations and further appeals.

In an Explanatory Memorandum from the IDA to OpenNet, the IDA instructed the joint venture to "propose a new quota sufficient to meet the increasing demand for NextGen NBN services."

Meeting demand

The IDA has also instructed OpenNet to propose a "mechanism" to ensure that the quota is flexible  to take into consideration further demand or seasons fluctuations, such as when IT fairs are held.

Already, OpenNet has noted a spike in demand for their services and said that it has been responding to the demand. OpenNet has noted that since the announcement of its 100,000th fibre subscriber in January 2012, its subscriber base has grown by an additional 50 percent. Just last month alone, OpenNet said more than 15,000 subscribers have been added to the Next Gen NBN, and it expects the fibre connections in Singapore to "more than double" from the January 2012 base by the end of this year.

"OpenNet is committed to supporting the growth in demand for fibre services and will work closely with the IDA and all of its customers and stakeholders to continue to build Singapore's Next Generation National Broadband Network into a world-class fibre network," OpenNet said.

The IDA has given OpenNet up to this week to implement the proposed changes to the ICO, after which, the new ICO with amendments, or renamed the "Approved ICO" will take effect. With this approval, IDA said it expects OpenNet to meet the timelines set in the "Approved ICO".

The Next Gen NBN is part of the Intelligent Nation 2015 or iN2015 blueprint to turn Singapore into a sophisticated city with seamless high-speed connectivity. OpenNet is expected to deliver the fibre optic backbone of the iN2015 vision at least 2.5 years ahead.


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