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Signapore Gets Passive Aggressive

Singapore, the Asian city-state with a reputation for far-thinking industrial policy, has announced the details of its highly ambitious National Broadband Network. The network is founded on a particularly radical model of structural separation – with no less than four cleanly divided strata –  and underpinned by an open, passive infrastructure.

Under the plan, an ‘AssetCo’ will build and own the civil infrastructure – ducts, manholes and chambers – built in part from assets sold to it by SingTel (the incumbent operator). The AssettCo will in turn lease that capacity to OpenNet, whose task it is to run optical fibre to all of Singapore’s homes, offices, and even to bus stops and lamp-posts! OpenNet is the consortium which won the Singapore Government’s contract to build the open, passive infrastructure. 

But OpenNet won’t light the fibre:  instead it has to offer it wholesale, on a non-discriminatory basis, to a number of ‘OpCos’ who will build the layer 2 and 3 networks needed to deliver services, amongst them SingTel and BT. Those services will operate at speeds of up to 1Gbps.  Consumer services will be retailed through a fourth layer – SellCos?

Ambitious roll-out targets means that 95% of all premises will be able to access the new infrastructure by 2012.

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*These comments do not necessarily reflect the views of the FTTH Council Europe.