Singapore fiber internet service provider, MyRepublic, has announced plans to enter the New Zealand market and begin offering its services to home and business subscribers from mid-2014.
In a statement released late-Wednesday, the ISP's NZ managing director Vaughan Baker said the company was aiming to disrupt the local market and drive adoption of the nationwide ultra-fast broadband (UFB) network. Baker was the former CEO of New Zealand Regional Fiber Group, a consortium which includes NorthPower, Ultra Fast Fibre and Enable Networks. The group, together with local telco, Chorus, are deploying the national fiber network.
"Three years into the UFB's rollout, uptake of fiber services remains low. The incumbent providers seem focused on quibbling about copper prices," Baker noted. "MyRepublic wants to change all that."
The ISP last week launched a 1Gbps service plan in Singapore at S$49.99 (US$39.11) a month, touting the new offering as part of its efforts to elevate the country to become one of the world's top markets in affordability and adoption. MyRepublic CEO Malcolm Rodrigues said: "Singaporeans have long considered ourselves among the world's best in many areas, but when we looked at the data from around the world on broadband pricing and takeup, we were shocked."
NZ's UFB network is currently available to about one-third of the country's 1 million buildings scheduled to be connected by 2019. Customer adoption, to date, has been slow, Baker said, noting the similarities with the Singapore market where there was no obvious incentive for customers to switch.
"From an industry perspective, legacy copper networks are much more profitable, which explains why incumbent providers aren't encouraging customers to move to fiber," he said, and added that MyRepublic was looking to change this with more competitive pricing.
The Singapore ISP, which was established in 2011, will offer its services on the NZ UFB network by targeting customers who want better experience for online content streaming, games, and videoconferencing.