Delays in 1Gbps broadband delivery

Delays in 1Gbps broadband delivery

Some customers are up in arms over delays in the installation of high capacity fibre broadband orders made in January.

Their service provider MyRepublic started fulfilling these orders for premium 1 gigabyte per second (Gbps) connections late last month, with about 1,000 homes installed with connections to date.

But it said yesterday that other orders have been delayed. It declined to disclose the actual number and has put the blame on fibre network operator OpenNet's "lack of resources".

In Singapore, a 1Gbps connection is the fastest possible fibre broadband connection. MyRepublic's plan, at $49.99 a month, is the cheapest among service providers here and has seen a high number of sign-ups.

On MyRepublic's Facebook page, frustrated customers complained about appointment cancellations and no-shows from MyRepublic and OpenNet staff.

Other customers said they have not even received an installation date and that the two companies are playing a blame game.

"I called OpenNet and was told that MyRepublic submitted my order only in mid-March. Why is that?" asked order processing assistant manager Cheng Eng Cheong, 39, who is now reconsidering the order he placed in January.

OpenNet said that it needs to install additional fibre equipment in residential buildings to support MyRepublic, which is a relatively new player. This is especially since most of the customers are switching from one service provider to another.

OpenNet also said that it is obliged to process service requests on a "first come, first served basis". But in some instances, the additional network resources installed were taken up by other broadband service providers.

MyRepublic estimated that customers who ordered in January and February would have their installations completed this month, and the rest by next month.

The Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) said yesterday that it is monitoring OpenNet's obligations to connect 98 per cent of residential sign-ups within three working days of receiving their orders, and the rest within seven working days.

"It is also the responsibility of any telecom service provider including MyRepublic to make sure that the necessary resources to enable the new services are properly secured before launch," an IDA spokesman said.

itham@sph.com.sg

This article was published on April 5 in The Straits Times.

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