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 4 Apr 2009

StarHub plans S$1bn to set up Singapore next-gen broadband

StarHub said on Friday it won a tender to develop and operate a nationwide broadband network that will provide Singapore homes and offices with high-speed Internet connections, beating rival bids from SingTel and Cisco Systems, Reuters reported.

StarHub, the city-state's second-largest telecommunications firm and dominant cable-TV provider, will invest an initial S$100 million ($66.5 million) in the operating company for Singapore's Next-Generation National Broadband Network.

The operating company will in turn spend S$1 billion over 25 years to build and maintain the network, utilising a grant of up to S$250 million from the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA), StarHub said in a statement.

The other contenders for the nationwide broadband network were Singapore Telecommunications , MobileOne and a consortium led by Cisco Systems.

Under the terms of the agreement with IDA, StarHub will become the wholesale provider of broadband access to companies offering Internet access as well as other services such as videoconferencing and high-speed data transmission.

The new network will provide Singapore users with Internet connection speeds that are up to 10 times faster than the current maximum of about 100 megabytes per second. IDA said StarHub will have 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".

The StarHub contract follows an earlier award by IDA to develop the "passive infrastructure", or backbone, for Singapore's new nationwide broadband network that was given to a consortium led by Canada's Axia Netmedia and whose members include SingTel and Singapore Press Holdings




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