ISPs say 'no' to OpenNet sale

ISPs say 'no' to OpenNet sale

A resounding "no" was the response of all six local Internet service providers (ISPs) to the planned sale of OpenNet, builder of Singapore's fibre broadband network, to a business trust owned by rival telco SingTel.

Also joining in the chorus is the Asia Pacific Carriers' Coalition, a body that includes telcos such as Britain's BT and Hong Kong-based PacNet.

Their unequivocal opposition was spelt out in a 38-page report that they submitted to the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) yesterday.

The IDA had wanted their feedback on whether the sale would result in substantially less competition or harm public interest.

In the opposing camp are telcos M1 and StarHub, as well as broadband service providers MyRepublic, ViewQwest, SuperInternet and Nucleus Connect.

With the coalition, they said in a joint statement yesterday that the sale fails to address delays in connecting customers and customer benefits.

It would have a significant negative impact as well on the success of the nationwide fibre network - dubbed the Next- Generation Broadband Network - said the report, which the IDA posted on its website.

It would also "further entrench SingTel's dominance", added the report.

Under the planned sale announced last month, OpenNet's owners - SingTel, SP Telecommunications, Singapore Press Holdings and Canada's Axia NetMedia - would sell it for $126 million to NetLink Trust.

But its day-to-day operations would be run by CityNet, the trustee-manager of NetLink Trust.

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