Expect delays in OpenNet connections

SINGAPORE - New fibre broadband subscribers may have to bear with some delays before they can be connected to OpenNet following a record number of sign-ups for the high-speed Internet service last month.

With more than 31,000 users signing up for fibre broadband services last month, "a certain amount of delay is anticipated", said network builder OpenNet.

The Straits Times understands that a small group of consumers who signed up for fibre broadband plans at the PC Show, held early last month, are still waiting for their service to go live. This is considered unusual as waiting time these days is typically about three working days. One year ago, the waiting time ranged from one to three weeks.

OpenNet said the "exceptionally high demand" for fibre connections came during the PC Show, when service providers were wooing customers with rock-bottom prices and product bundles.

The previous monthly record for new subscriptions was 23,236, set in May.

The latest figures bring the total number of fibre broadband subscribers in Singapore to 380,000 at the end of last month - a 50 per cent increase from the 250,000 subscribers it had at the end of last year.

To cope with the surge of subscribers, OpenNet said it will boost installation capacity by 30 per cent from next week. It has also allocated 2,000 extra slots per week till the end of this month for customers to get connected.

The number of slots for Saturday installations will also be boosted by more than 300 per week.

StarHub said that while it welcomes OpenNet's efforts, more can still be done. Said Ms Cassie Fong, StarHub's senior manager of corporate communications: "What would be helpful is for sustained efforts at OpenNet to improve and shorten (its) provisioning timelines, and not only for ... periods after IT fairs."

derrickh@sph.com.sg