MyRepublic launches NBN services at highest speeds possible

Spruiking its broadband service as the only one that was purpose-built for the NBN, MyRepublic is offering customers unlimited downloads on the highest speed possible.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Singaporean internet service provider (ISP) MyRepublic will launch across the Australian National Broadband Network (NBN), offering one package at one price on the highest possible speed tier available for each customer.

Saying the NBN hasn't properly launched in Australia, as ISPs are simply offering the same services, speeds, and pricing as before, MyRepublic Australia managing director Nicholas Demos said his company's product is "game changing" because it was designed specifically for the NBN.

"The NBN in Australia really hasn't launched, and we plan to launch the NBN in Australia. We'll be the first one that we believe to have a purpose-built product for the NBN, and the terms of how we go to market will be totally different to the incumbents," Demos said in an interview with ZDNet.

"The incumbents have been a bit lazy in terms of innovation."

Customers are not utilising different or better products across the NBN, he said, referring to a report this week by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) that most NBN users are still on speeds of 25Mbps or less despite the higher speeds available.

"It's really complicated for consumers; they don't really know what [product] to take. So we're really dumbing that right down ... we'll be launching with one product, it's unlimited, it provides customers with the fastest speed they can get on the NBN," Demos told ZDNet.

At what MyRepublic called the "fair price point" of AU$59.99 per month, customers will be connected at the highest speed possible as per the network technology connecting them to the NBN. If that speed increases over time, the ISP will then connect them to that -- although this is currently capped at 100Mbps.

As such, MyRepublic NBN customers on fibre to the premises will be connected at the download speed of 100Mbps; those on fibre to the node will get 50Mbps; and those on hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) will also get 100Mbps.

Pre-orders open on Friday, with the product launching nationally on November 15 across all NBN technologies except for the satellite service.

According to MyRepublic CEO Malcolm Rodrigues, the company made use of Singapore's national broadband network fibre coupled with its own electronics. It was the first to launch gigabit speeds in Singapore back in 2014.

It then launched in New Zealand in 2014, saying it lobbied the Ultra-Fast Broadband (UFB) company and local fibre companies to provide 1Gbps services rather than 100Mbps services, and plans to do the same in Australia.

"I think the NBN here has to go on the same journey that the Kiwis went on, and that Singapore went on," Rodrigues told ZDNet.

New Zealand telcos Chorus and Vodafone NZ last month began offering 1Gbps services across the UFB network, while Singaporean telcos M1 and Singtel already advanced to 10Gbps fibre services earlier this year.

Rodrigues explained that MyRepublic waited to launch in Australia until NBN had gained more "momentum". Its move to launch on the NBN follows Foxtel on Thursday announcing its offering, and Vodafone Australia last month saying it would launch NBN services next year.

In terms of launching elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific in future, the ISP is eyeing opportunities in China, Taiwan, Brunei, Thailand, India, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka.

"There's probably another eight or nine countries that have announced NBNs. They're all early-stage still ... when the policy is kind of locked in and there's enough coverage, we'll enter [the market]," Rodrigues said.

MyRepublic is also still looking at becoming the fourth mobile provider in Singapore, taking part in the current spectrum auction being held by the regulator there, alongside Australian fixed-line provider TPG.

"We've thrown our hat in the ring, we're looking to get the licence there. We're pretty confident we'll get it," Rodrigues said, adding that a decision is due by the end of this month.

Rodrigues explained that MyRepublic wants to move into mobile services so that it can offer seamless connectivity to its customers, whether they are at home or on the move.

"We're a fixed operator -- we love fixed, especially across NBN because it's a bit of a transformative point in time, but to do mobile is interesting because then we could actually provide a customer experience across fixed and mobile," the chief executive said.

"Our long-term play is to be fixed-mobile across multiple countries in South-East Asia. If we don't do Singapore, there's an opportunity in Indonesia, and if we don't do Indonesia, there's certainly MVNO opportunities in Australia and New Zealand."

Editorial standards