M1 today releases some information on the topic on OpenNet-CityNet-SingTel consolidation that was announced on the 22nd August 2013. M1, together with key stakeholders of the Next Gen NBN today submitted a joint response calling for IDA to reject the consolidation request
Here is the joint statement from M1 and key stakeholders.
Industry responds to proposed OpenNet-CityNet-SingTel consolidation
Singapore, 25 September 2013 – Key stakeholders of the Next Generation Nationwide Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN) today submitted a joint response calling for IDA to reject the consolidation request by OpenNet, NetLink Trust, CityNet and SingTel.
The unprecedented show of solidarity demonstrates the grave concerns the industry has over the competition issues raised by the proposed consolidation, including the potential of discriminatory treatment and a lack of independence by CityNet/OpenNet.
If approved, the proposed consolidation would see SingTel becoming the 100% beneficial owner of the only other nationwide fixed telecommunications network in Singapore, apart from SingTel’s own network. Moreover, the business trust used in this proposed consolidation has statutory and contractual obligations to act in SingTel’s interests.
The proposed consolidation would extend SingTel’s divestment deadline of the NetLink Trust (the business trust holding the entities’ assets) from 2014 to 2018. This would expand SingTel’s control over Singapore’s only ubiquitous networks and further entrench its incumbent position.
The proposed consolidation also fails to address how it would deal with the unresolved and escalating problems the industry faces or how this would benefit end-users. This is especially troubling given OpenNet’s history of rollout delays, missed appointments, and inadequate quality of service.
In the event that IDA decides to approve the consolidation request, the industry called for stronger safeguards to ensure that CityNet/OpenNet offers services on a truly non-discriminatory basis, independent of any SingTel influence.
The response set out a range of measures to meet this objective, including the appointment of Government and industry representatives to the boards of CityNet/OpenNet and requiring SingTel to abide by its original commitment to sell down its stake in NetLink Trust to less than 25% by 2014. The response also called for the removal of the existing “relief” clauses used by OpenNet to absolve it of its delivery obligations, and for real penalties to be set for any non-performance by CityNet/OpenNet.
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This was the Press Release previously on the OpenNet announcement.
OpenNet, CityNet and SingTel Jointly File Consolidation Application with IDA
Singapore, Thursday, 22 August 2013 – OpenNet announces today that it has jointly with CityNet Infrastructure Management Pte. Ltd. (“CityNet”) and Singapore Telecommunications Limited (“SingTel”) filed a Consolidation Application with the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (“IDA”). The Consolidation Application seeks regulatory approval for the purchase by CityNet, in its capacity as trustee-manager of NetLink Trust, 100% of the issued and paid-up capital in OpenNet from current shareholders Axia NGNetworks Asia Pte. Ltd. (Axia Asia), SPH Net Pte. Ltd. (SPH), SPT Net Pte. Ltd. (SPT) and SingTel Interactive Pte. Ltd.
The Consolidation Application is subject to the IDA’s review and approval. OpenNet assures its customers that all its services to them shall continue and remain unaffected, during and after the IDA’s review of the joint application. The terms and conditions of OpenNet’s service offerings, which are subject to regular regulatory reviews by the IDA, will remain unchanged unless otherwise required/approved by the IDA.
OpenNet remains committed to meeting Singapore’s growing demand for fibre services.
About OpenNet Pte Ltd
OpenNet is responsible for building, managing and operating the world’s first nationwide all-optical fibre platform, which is the key foundation of Singapore’s Next Gen NBN. Next Gen NBN is designed to be an ultra-high bandwidth, resilient and scalable state-of-the-art optical fibre network that is capable of delivering speeds of 1Gbps and above to homes, offices and premises around Singapore.
For more information about OpenNet, visit www.opennet.com.sg.