SINGAPORE – 07 APR 2008
7 April 2008 - The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) today launched the Request-For-Proposal (RFP) for an Operating Company (OpCo) to design, build and operate the active infrastructure of Singapore’s Next Generation National Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN).
Singapore, 7 April 2008 | For Immediate Release
Government Prepared to Provide Grant of Up to S$250 Million to the Successful Bidder
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) today launched the Request-For-Proposal (RFP) for an Operating Company (OpCo) to design, build and operate the active infrastructure of Singapore’s Next Generation National Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN).
Singapore’s Next Gen NBN will offer pervasive, competitively priced ultra-high speed broadband connectivity to business users at the workplace, as well as to Singaporeans at home, schools and learning institutions, and other premises. The Next Gen NBN is expected to be available nationwide by 2015, although consumers can begin to look forward to a range of new and exciting Next Gen Services such as high-definition video conferencing, telemedicine, Grid Computing-on-Demand, security and immersive learning applications on the Next Gen NBN from about 2010.
Ms Yong Ying-I, Chairman, Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore, said, “For Singapore to remain competitive in an increasingly globalised and digital economy, we need careful and timely investments in our key economic infrastructure, including our national infocomm infrastructure. In this regard, the Government is seeking private sector participation in Singapore’s Next Gen NBN. We took the first step towards realising this vision when we launched the RFP in December 2007 for a Network Company to design, build and operate the passive infrastructure of the Next Gen NBN. Today, we take another step closer to achieving this vision with the launch of the Next Gen NBN Operating Company RFP. For this OpCo RFP, the Government is prepared to provide a grant of up to S$250 million.”
For the Next Gen NBN Network Company (Next Gen NBN NetCo) RFP issued in December 2007, the Government had committed to provide a grant of up to S$750 million. The Next Gen NBN OpCo will play a pivotal role in bringing about a competitive and vibrant broadband market for Singapore, through providing Retail Service Providers (RSPs) with open access to the Next Gen NBN’s active infrastructure. For RSPs to have effective Open Access to Next Gen NBN OpCo’s active infrastructure, the RFP will require the Next Gen NBN OpCo to be Operationally Separated from other operators. This Next Gen NBN OpCo will also be subject to price control and universal service obligations.
To bring about a Next Gen NBN OpCo that can fulfill these requirements and to catalyse private sector investment, the Government is prepared to provide a grant of up to S$250 million to the winning bid. Together with the grant of up to S$750 million for the Next Gen NBN NetCo RFP that was launched in December 2007, the total grant that the Government is prepared to provide for the Next Gen NBN will therefore be up to S$1 billion.
Open Access Next Gen NBN
The Next Gen NBN will comprise three key conceptual industry layers. Undergirding the Next Gen NBN is the Network Company (Next Gen NBN NetCo), which will be responsible for the design, build and operation of the passive infrastructure layer. Leveraging the Next Gen NBN NetCo’s passive infrastructure would be operating companies that are responsible for the design, build and operation of the active infrastructure to provide wholesale broadband connectivity to other operating companies and downstream operators, in particular, RSPs. These RSPs will in turn compete to provide innovative services to end-users.
For Singapore to fully benefit from the economic opportunities of this pervasive and ultra-high speed infrastructure, it is critical for the Next Gen NBN to ensure effective open access to the infrastructure by downstream operators. This will create a vibrant and competitive broadband market. As a policy, the Government has therefore decided to adopt separation between the different layers of the Next Gen NBN to achieve effective open access.
Operational Separation for Next Gen NBN OpCo
The Next Gen NBN OpCo selected through this Next Gen NBN OpCo RFP will be required to be Operationally Separated from downstream RSPs, in line with the industry structure envisaged for the Open Access Next Gen NBN. Compared to the Structural Separation imposed on the Next Gen NBN NetCo, Operational Separation is a less stringent form of separation as the Next Gen NBN OpCo will be allowed to retain full shareholding ownership of its downstream operating units, such as RSPs.
However, the Next Gen NBN OpCo will be required to treat all downstream units equally, and on a non-discriminatory basis. The Next Gen NBN OpCo will have to operate on a standalone basis separate, from its affiliated downstream operating units, and be subject to various obligations, including being established as a separate legal entity and maintaining separate board, management and staff. (Please see Annex A (29.49KB) ).
In addition to Operational Separation, the Next Gen NBN OpCo will also be subject to other key obligations as follows:
1. Price Control
The Next Gen NBN OpCo must offer fair and non-discriminatory wholesale broadband services to other Operating Companies and downstream operators such as RSPs through an Interconnection Offer (ICO). The prices and terms and conditions of these wholesale offerings will be regulated by IDA.
2. Universal Service Obligation (USO)
The Next Gen NBN OpCo will be required to complement a similar obligation on the Next Gen NBN NetCo. The Next Gen NBN OpCo will be obliged to meet all reasonable requests by any operating company or downstream RSP for access to a basic set of wholesale services offered under its ICO.
An Operationally Separated Next Gen NBN OpCo plays a key role in catalysing competition at the next level of the Next Gen NBN infrastructure, which comprises the Retail Service Providers. RSPs can benefit from obtaining wholesale bandwidth connectivity at non-discriminatory prices and conditions, which will in turn, enable them to offer more innovative Next Gen broadband services.
Prior to today’s Next Gen NBN OpCo RFP launch, IDA had conducted a pre-qualification exercise on 3 March 2008 which resulted in 11 companies being pre-qualified to submit bids for the Next Gen NBN OpCo RFP. (Please see Annex B (14.46KB) ). However, interested parties that did not participate in the pre-qualification exercise can still submit applications to qualify as Consortium Leads for the Next Gen NBN OpCo RFP, no later than 21 April 2008, 12 noon1.
The closing date for submission of bids to the Next Gen NBN OpCo RFP is expected to be 20 August 20082. Submissions will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
1. Attractiveness of Wholesale ICO Price Terms to Industry
2. Attractiveness of Non-price ICO Terms to Industry
3. Quality of Network Infrastructure
4. Level of Government Support
IDA expects to determine the successful bid for the Next Gen NBN OpCo in the first quarter of 2009. The on-going Next Gen NBN NetCo RFP will close on 5 May 2008 and the successful bid is expected to be determined by the third quarter of 2008.
ISSUED BY CORPORATE & MARKETING COMMUNICATION DIVISION
INFOCOMM DEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY OF SINGAPORE
Notes to Editor:
1 Interested parties are required to demonstrate their capabilities to qualify for the bidding by completing and submitting to IDA the administrative forms available from the Government online procurement portal at www.gebiz.gov.sg.
2 If new bidders are qualified or new consortium leads are appointed, IDA will extend the closing date from 20 August 2008 to 29 September 2008, i.e. by 40 days, based on Government procurement guidelines.
- Presentation Slides: Next Generation National Broadband Network for Singapore (Next Gen NBN) (1.04MB)
About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is committed to growing Singapore into a dynamic global infocomm hub. IDA uses an integrated approach to developing infocommunications in Singapore. This involves nurturing a competitive telecoms market as well as a conducive business environment with programmes and schemes for both local and international companies. For more news and information, visit https://www.imda.gov.sg/.
For media clarification, please contact:
Ho Ka Wei (Mr)
Manager, Corporate and Marketing Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Fax: +65 6211 2227