4 May 2009 - Opening Remarks By Ms Yong Ying-I, Chairman For Infocomm Development Authority Of Singapore, At The Next Generation National Broadband Network Opco Contract Signing Ceremony, IDA Multi-Purpose Hall
Singapore's Next Gen NBN Deployment On Track Wth OpenNet's CFC and Nucleus Connect Contract Signed
Opening Remarks By Ms Yong Ying-I, Chairman For Infocomm Development Authority Of Singapore, At The Next Generation National Broadband Network Opco Contract Signing Ceremony, On Monday, 4 May 2009, IDA Multi-Purpose Hall
RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, CEO, IDA
Mr Terry Clontz, CEO, StarHub
Mr David Storrie, CEO, Nucleus Connect
Ms Khoo Ai Lin, Finance Director, OpenNet
1. Good evening and thank you for joining us at the contract signing ceremony for the Next Generation National Broadband Network Operating Company, or Next Gen NBN OpCo for short. As announced by IDA on 3 April, Nucleus Connect has been selected as the Next Gen NBN OpCo. That was a significant milestone for the Next Gen NBN initiative.
2. Nucleus Connect will be deploying advanced technologies to support and enable a comprehensive range of ultra-high speed wholesale broadband services to Retail Service Providers, or RSPs. These wholesale bandwidth services will be delivered over OpenNet’s nationwide fibre-optics network. As an operationally separated and open access operator, Nucleus Connect will ensure that all RSPs have equal and non-discriminatory access to its wholesale bandwidth services to deploy innovative and competitively-priced retail services to the end-users.
3. Nucleus Connect has since been incorporated and IDA is pleased to sign the OpCo Contract with Nucleus Connect today. This marks the commencement of Nucleus Connect’s contractual commitments to achieve its proposed targets. Following the contract signing today, Nucleus Connect will be required to achieve its Contractual and Financial Close, or CFC for short, within 6 months. IDA looks forward to working together with Nucleus Connect in delivering the active infrastructure of the Next Gen NBN.
4. Today, we are also pleased to take the opportunity to announce the achievement of another milestone in the Next Gen NBN project. On 26 September 2008, IDA announced the selection of OpenNet as the Next Gen NBN NetCo to fulfill the vision of a nationwide and structurally separated fibre-optics network provider. In October last year, OpenNet entered into the NetCo contract with IDA. That required OpenNet to fulfill various Condition Precedents before being confirmed by IDA as the Next Gen NBN NetCo.
5. IDA is pleased to share that OpenNet has successfully met its Conditions Precedent and achieved its CFC as scheduled, within 6 months of its contract signing date. OpenNet has also been issued with a Facilities-Based Operator, or FBO, telecommunications licence to carry out the necessary deployment works. OpenNet will be deploying an all-new fibre optic network that can support ultra-high speed broadband access of more than 1 Gbps to all homes, businesses, Government agencies and institutions. OpenNet is on track to meet its target of nationwide coverage by 2012.
6. At last September’s media briefing, IDA also shared that OpenNet proposed the formation of a neutral Asset Company, or AssetCo for short, as part of its proposal. AssetCo will own and control the relevant underlying passive infrastructure assets that are used to support OpenNet’s deployment. These underlying assets, which include central offices, ducts and manholes will be transferred from SingTel to AssetCo. By leveraging existing underlying assets, OpenNet will be able to achieve a speedy deployment with minimal inconvenience to the public when civil works begin later this year.
7. IDA has approved the implementation plan for AssetCo as part of OpenNet’s CFC. AssetCo will be established within 24 months of OpenNet’s CFC as a business trust and SingTel will reduce its unit holdings in the AssetCo to less than 25 per cent within 60 months of OpenNet’s CFC subject to SingTel obtaining relevant approvals. The management and operations of AssetCo will be undertaken by a neutral Trustee-Manager, which will be an FBO licensee.
8. Following the announcement of the award of the OpCo RFP to Nucleus Connect in April, OpenNet and Nucleus Connect have discussed and agreed on a finalised Joint Rollout Plan for the deployment of the Next Gen NBN. This Plan will guide both OpenNet and Nucleus Connect deployment schedules going forward. Where necessary, the final Rollout Plan will be adjusted to adapt to changes in market demand and upon the approval of all parties.
9. In conclusion, the Next Gen NBN deployment is on track with the achievement of OpenNet’s CFC and the contract signing with Nucleus Connect today. End users can look forward to the Next Gen NBN achieving 60 per cent coverage of all Residential Premises and Non-Residential Buildings by the end of 2010, and 95 per cent of all Residential Premises and Non-Residential Buildings by June 2012.
10. Thank you.