NetLink Trust fined $500,000 for not meeting service standards

PHOTO: NetLink Trust

SINGAPORE - Fibre network company NetLink Trust (NLT) has been slapped with a $500,000 fine for not meeting residential and non-residential service standards, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) announced on Thursday (Oct 27).

During the assessment period between last year Jan to June this year, NLT completed 87.15 per cent to 93.19 per cent of residential service orders within three business days or by the Request for Activation (RFA) Date in each month.

However, this was not enough to meet the service standard of 98 per cent required by IMDA.

NLT also failed to meet the 100 per cent expectation for residential service orders during the additional four business days from the RFA date.

For this, NLT was fined $200,000.

The company has also not fully complied with IMDA's non-residential service standards during the assessment period of Jan to Dec last year.

NLT said in a media statement that they had to cope with rising fibre broadband demand and an increase in the number of end-users switching between service providers. This took up additional time and network resources, which delayed connection services. 

NLT said that it will work with the Retail Service Providers to mitigate this issue.  

The company finished 29.28 per cent to 82.68 per cent of non-residential service orders within four calendar weeks of the date of the service order.

NLT has thus failed to meet the minimum monthly standard of 80 per cent except for Dec 2015, where NLT has performed above the standard.

It also failed to meet the service standard of 100 per cent within four calendar weeks of the RFA date.

IMDA has since imposed a financial penalty of $300,000 on NLT for not meeting the non-residential service standards, bringing the total fine to $500,000.

In response, NLT said that securing access to buildings for installation and maintenance work is a challenging process with building management policies in place. To combat this, NLT has pre-installed fibres in buildings with anticipated demand. 

IMDA also noted that a number of delayed residential service orders were churn orders or second fibre orders. Churn orders refer to end-users who have completed their 24-month contract and are seeking to switch broadband service providers, while second fibre orders are used when end-users switch service providers, or when they have contracted two or more broadband service providers.

These necessitated the use of a second optical fibre, or handing over of fibre between service providers.

IMDA stated that it expects NLT to ensure that there is sufficient spare fibre in residential buildings to cater to all residential orders, and continue to improve its processes and ensure it fully meets all service standards.

NLT CEO Mr Tong Yew Heng has pledged his committment to improve the company's service standards. 

He said: "We are investing about $150 million to install more fibre across the country and to upgrade the operational and business IT systems in order to deliver a robust fibre broadband network."

Meanwhile, the authority said it will continue to monitor NLT's performance. 

debwong@sph.com.sg

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