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Megaport unveils dark fibre expansion plans for Singapore

The Australian network interconnection provider is set to invest up to SG$50 million in expansion plans for its services in Singapore.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

Over the next year, Megaport says it will commence the rollout of a new dark fibre network between datacentres on the island nation at a cost of SG$20 million.

The total cost of the network is slated to be between SG$40 million and SG$50 million over three years, with the company claiming that the finished network, intended to serve carriers and enterprise customers and underpin Megaport's managed network in the country, will offer services at half the cost of similar services.

"Organisations in Singapore are generating and consuming ever-increasing amounts of data at rates never envisaged years ago, leading to huge demand for high-speed bandwidth to connect to datacentres for disaster recovery or mission-critical applications," said Bevan Slattery, CEO of Megaport.

"While the next-generation National Broadband Network is an excellent platform for the delivery of broadband services to homes and businesses, many of the carrier and enterprise clients need specialised, dedicated, higher-bandwidth services."

Slattery said that dark fibre access in Singapore has been expensive, and made many users take up managed network services rather than use dark fibre.

"This has provided us with a significant opportunity to enter the market and roll out our own dark fibre network at a more competitive price point," he said.

The initial rollout of the dark fibre will occur between Megaport's two locations in Singapore, and offer the company's 100 gigabit Ethernet network-as-a-service platform, before subsequent stages expand to other datacentres and cable landing stations.

Helpfully, for the company's plans, Megaport also announced today that it has been granted a Facilities-Based Operator (FBO) Licence by the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore that will allow the company to build and operate telecommunications infrastructure in the country.

"I am delighted that Megaport has secured its FBO licence from the IDA, as it represents a key milestone towards our vision to become the leading provider of network interconnection services in Asia," Slattery said in a statement.

Meanwhile, back in Australia, the company is embroiled in a stoush with TPG over Megaport's access to the datacentres of the now TPG-owned Pipe Networks. TPG has claimed that Pipe's customers, such as Megaport, are not occupiers of datacentres, and therefore could not use Schedule 3 of the Telecommunications Act to gain access.

Megaport has asked the Australian Communications and Media Authority to provide information on Pipe's underground duct facilities as required by Schedule 1 of the Telecommunications Act.

Slattery said that TPG has referred the matter to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) for a determination, and that TPG's actions could impact its access to other datacentres.

TPG purchased Pipe Networks for AU$373 million in March 2010, with Slattery, who had founded Pipe and was serving as CEO, resigning later in the year and founding Megaport thereafter.

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