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OpenNet warned for not meeting service standards

Consortium tasked to build Singapore's nationwide fiber network warned for not meeting customer standards and also fined S$100,000 for delaying supply of cooling services to ISPs.
Written by Ellyne Phneah, Contributor

SINGAPORE--Network company OpenNet has been warned by Singapore's ICT regulator Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) for failing to meet customer service quality standards delivered on the next-generation national broadband network (NBN).

According to a report Monday by local newspaper The Straits Times, OpenNet, tasked to build the fiber infrastructure of the NBN, was also fined S$100,000 (US$81,913) for delaying the supply of cooling services to Internet service providers (ISPs), several of which host their network equipment on OpenNet's premises.

Elaborating on its warning over the failed service levels, IDA said OpenNet over two months last year failed to ensure at least 98 percent of the connections it installed in homes were working, when customers signed for a plan with ISPs such as SingTel, StarHub and M1. Consumers with faulty connections also were unable to access the Web.

IDA found 97.62 percent and 97.9 percent of OpenNet's lines in homes were working in September and October, respectively. The regulator decided against imposing a fine since the quality standards were only recently implemented and the failure to comply was "small". 

Fines of S$10,000 (US$8,022) per breach each month could have been imposed, with additional penalties for serious breaches, or continuing or repeated breaches.

OpenNet in August appealed against the service standards set by IDA, describing the terms as difficult to meet and against those stated in the original contract. 

Established in 2008, the consortium comprises Canada-based Axia, and three local companies, SingTel, Singapore Press Holdings and SP Telecommunications.

Fined for failed cooling supply
Explaining the S$100,000 fine, IDA told The Straits Times OpenNet failed to meet the directive given in October last year, requiring the consortium to include prices and terms for the supply of cooling services to ISPs with which it had signed contracts. 

These terms were to be submitted to the regulator for approval by Jan. 13 this year, a date which already had been extended three times from the original deadline in November. OpenNet, however, did not make the amendments until April this year.

This is not the first time the company has been fined over service quality. In February last year, it was fined an undisclosed amount by the IDA for failing to test cables it had installed to ensure they worked.

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