3 April 2009 - Opening Remarks By Ms Yong Ying-I, Chairman, Infocomm Development Authority Of Singapore, At The Award Of The Request For-Proposal For Singapore's Next Generation National Broadband Network Operating Company, At IDA
Opening Remarks By Ms Yong Ying-I, Chairman, Infocomm Development Authority Of Singapore, At The Award Of The Request For-Proposal For Singapore's Next Generation National Broadband Network Operating Company, At IDA, 3 April 2009
1. Good evening and welcome to this briefing. We are happy to share with you the achievement of another key milestone in the development of Singapore’s Next Generation National Broadband Network.
2. In September last year, we announced the selection of the OpenNet consortium to design, build and operate the passive infrastructure of the Next Gen NBN. OpenNet, as the Next Gen NBN Network Company or NetCo, is currently ramping up its operations to meet its obligations and is scheduled to commence its fibre deployment by the second half of this year. The all-new optical fibre network is expected to be deployed to 60 per cent of homes and offices by 2010, and achieve nationwide coverage by 2012.
3. On 7 April 2008, IDA issued the Request for Proposal for an Operating Company, or OpCo, to design, build and operate the active infrastructure of the Next Gen NBN. At the close of OpCo RFP submissions on 5 December 2008, IDA received four good bids. The bids were from IntelliNet consortium (comprising Axia NetMedia Corporation and Cisco Systems International BV), MobileOne Ltd, Singapore Telecommunications Ltd and StarHub Ltd. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the bidders for their strong interest and active participation in the RFP process.
4. The four proposals were evaluated in accordance with the Analytic Hierarchy Process and the evaluation matrix set out in the OpCo RFP. Today, I am pleased to announce that the Government has selected the proposal from StarHub, which will establish the Next Gen NBN OpCo, called Nucleus Connect, to design, build and operate the active infrastructure. The Government will provide a grant of up to $250 million to Nucleus Connect to support its deployment of this infrastructure. Together with the grant of up to $750 million for the NetCo, the Government is investing up to a total of $1 billion to put in place the Next Gen NBN.
5. Nucleus Connect will deploy advanced technologies to support and enable a comprehensive range of ultra-high speed wholesale broadband services to Retail Service Providers, or RSPs, at competitive prices that will be regulated by IDA. Nucleus Connect will, for example, offer a wholesale price of $21 per month for a 100 Mbps residential end-user connection and $121 for a 1Gbps connection. For non-residential premises, such as offices and schools, Nucleus Connect will offer a wholesale price of $75 per month for a 100 Mbps connection. Enterprise users who have more demanding requirements can opt for a 1Gbps connection at $860 per month.
6. Nucleus Connect will work together with OpenNet on a coordinated nationwide rollout of the network. It is expected to start offering commercial services by the first half of 2010, and be ready to fulfil its Universal Service Obligations of meeting all reasonable requests for service from 2013.
7. The Next Gen NBN NetCo and OpCo RFPs were structured to ensure that downstream operators have Effective Open Access to the Next Gen NBN. This is to spur a vibrant and competitive Next Generation broadband market where businesses and consumers can enjoy innovative services from a variety of RSPs. We consider Effective Open Access through structural separation for the Next Gen NBN NetCo and operational separation for the Next Gen NBN OpCo as key to achieving such a vision. Nucleus Connect will be operationally separated from all RSPs. It will also be a separate legal entity from StarHub, with a different corporate brand, separate premises and an independent board of directors. With such an industry structure, RSPs can obtain wholesale bandwidth services from Nucleus Connect on a fair and non-discriminatory basis, and offer a wide range of services at competitive prices to end-users.
8. With this selection of the Next Gen NBN OpCo RFP proposal, we have achieved another major milestone in the Next Gen NBN project. The Next Gen NBN is a key national infocomm infrastructure that will enhance Singapore’s competitiveness in a globalised and digital economy. It will spur the development of rich and innovative content, applications and services, and bring significant benefits to the various economic sectors such as finance, healthcare and education. All in Singapore can soon look forward to a richer broadband experience and a wide range of innovative broadband services at competitive prices, transforming the way we work, live, learn and interact. Indeed, the Next Gen NBN is a strategic enabler that will position Singapore well for the future.
9. Finally, I would like to congratulate StarHub on the selection of its proposal for the Next Gen NBN OpCo RFP. I will now ask Mr Khoong Hock Yun, IDA’s Assistant Chief Executive in charge of Infrastructure and Services Development, to take you through the details of StarHub’s proposal. Thank you.