As part of its continuous monitoring and review of competitiveness in the telecommunications market, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) today issued a consultation paper to seek views to help enhance effective competition in Singapore's Local Leased Circuits1 (LLCs) market...
Singapore, 30 May 2003| For Immediate Release
Review Aims to Also Reduce Business Cost and Increase Consumer Choice
As part of its continuous monitoring and review of competitiveness in the telecommunications market, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) today issued a consultation paper to seek views to help enhance effective competition in Singapore's Local Leased Circuits1 (LLCs) market.
LLCs are key telecommunication products used by businesses for data, voice, video and Internet connectivity. Effective competition within this sector can make a positive contribution to the overall competitiveness of the economy by driving costs down for businesses and offering consumers a wider range of products and services and at more competitive prices.
IDA's Policy Intent
Since liberalizing the telecommunications market on 1 April 2000, IDA has facilitated and encouraged facilities-based operators2 ( FBOs) to build their own infrastructure to develop a more competitive multi-player market. However, IDA also recognizes that there are segments of the market where it is not feasible, due to technical or other constraints, for FBOs to build. In such instances, the IDA have adopted other appropriate regulatory measures to allow for competition, such as requiring dominant licensees to offer their services under the Reference Interconnection Offer (RIO) and the sharing of bottleneck infrastructure facilities.
Developments in the LLCs Market Today
After three years of full market liberalization, although Singapore's published LLCs retail prices are generally competitive in specific bandwidths when compared with other countries, competition in the LLCs market remains limited within Singapore. Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel), the incumbent operator, does not offer wholesale prices for most of its LLC products. Instead, it offers them at or near retail prices to FBOs. As such, FBOs are unable to effectively compete with SingTel in the local retail LLCs market. Also, while a few FBOs have rolled out LLCs infrastructure, their coverage is limited.
In view of the limited competition in the retail LLCs market, IDA sees a need to consider additional regulatory measures where operators can compete more effectively to offer businesses and consumers more competitively priced products and services.
The measures being considered are as follows:-
* The designation of SingTel's LLCs as a mandatory wholesale service under the Telecom Competition Code for a period of two to three years at IDA mandated prices. IDA believes this will allow new entrants time to build and acquire a customer base.
* The requirement for SingTel to allow FBOs to co-locate equipment at SingTel's exchanges for access to SingTel's LLCs. IDA believes this will still ultimately encourage new entrants to roll out their infrastructure and networks thereby reducing their reliance on SingTel's network.
IDA seeks public views on these proposed measures. The full consultation paper can be downloaded from https://www.imda.gov.sg/, 'Policy and Regulation', 'Consultation Papers'. The consultation closes on 30 June 2003. IDA expects to announce its policy decision by the second half of 2003.
ISSUED BY CORPORATE COMMUNICATION DIVISION
INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
Notes to Editor:
1 Local Leased Circuits (LLCs) are dedicated telecommunication lines between two premises. These lines offer bandwidth that can carry a range of applications and services such as high-speed Internet access, data networks, computer disaster recovery networks, digital PABX networks, LAN/ WAN interconnection.
2 Facilities-based operators (FBOs) deploy their own telecom networks, systems or facilities to offer services to other licensed operators, businesses and/ or consumers.
About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is a dynamic organisation with an integrated perspective to developing, promoting and regulating info-communications in Singapore. In the fast-changing and converging spheres of telecommunications, information and media technologies, IDA will be the catalyst for change and growth in Singapore's evolution into a vibrant global info-communications technology centre. For more information, visit https://www.imda.gov.sg/
For media clarification, please contact:
Ms Ho Hwei Ling or Ms Cindy Christine Kong
Manager, Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA)
Tel : +65-6211-1996/1997
Fax : +65-6211-2227
Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org