Singapore Leads the Way for National Broadband Strategists

October 1, 2008

in Government,The Blog

Strategy Singapore Leads the Way for National Broadband StrategistsWhen Singapore announced its national broadband strategy the world followed impatiently. Singapore Government required a structural separated passive infrastructure operator/developer (NetCo) and an operational separated operating company (OpCo) for its national broadband network infrastructure. Last week, Singapore hit another home-rum by awarding the passive infrastructure (RFP issued late 2007) to OpenNet Consortium which made a proposal far exceeding the minimum requirements of the bid.

There is a series of reasons why these developments are so exciting, especially these days that many countries (including the – so far – European pioneer Greece) are preparing similar nationwide initiatives:

  1. USO is taken seriously: Although the RFP required a 50% coverage by 2012 and Universal Service Obligation (USO) by 2015, OpenNet committed to 95% coverage by 2012 and universal service by 2013!
  2. Business demand will subsidize home user’s fiber connections: OpenNet proposal committed to an effective wholesale monthly price per fiber connection at $15 for residential and at $50 for non-residential users.
  3. Network operation is based on Open Access principles (as opposed to EC’s approach that infrastructure-based competition should be the end-game): Structural separated NetCo and operational separated OpCo are established. This means that [TYPO: a vertically integrated OpCo] NetCo will not be eligible to offer upper layer services over the national fiber infrastructure.
  4. Effective evaluation criteria: The attractiveness of business plan (i.e. prices, social & industry benefits), weighted a remarkable 43%, the quality of network infrastructure (i.e. technical and operational efficiency levels) weighted 25%, the level of Government grant weighted 22% and the financial proposition and strength of bidder 10%.
  5. Existing infrastructure is leveraged: The awarded NetCo will use existing ducts, manholes and exchanges, thus reducing cost and wholesale prices and minimizing public inconveniences during roll-out.
  6. Aiming at high take-up rates by providing incentives to home-owners to connect: Each home/building owner will enjoy waiver of installation charges for the 1st termination point (in the living room) when the network first reaches his/her premise. Fibre installation (surface ducting) charges to 1st termination point will be waived for initial 15m (cost-oriented charges will follow thereafter) – Yes, that’s right, cost-oriented charges.

Nice! Wouldn’t you agree?

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