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To those who have been looking forward to fibre connection..

Postby the lynx » Wed, 25 Jul 2012 11:53 am

Too costly to miss out on fibre
by Lim May-Ann 04:46 AM Jul 06, 2012
Source: http://www.todayonline.com/Commentaryan ... t-on-fibre

OpenNet, Singapore's builder of fibre infrastructure, is having a tumultuous time rolling out the nation's Next Generation National Broadband Network.

The plan is to connect 95 per cent of all households by the middle of the year but demand is apparently weak, with current subscription take-up at little more than 150,000 (12 per cent).

With Government expectations now increasing, OpenNet's conundrum is this: Are the low connection rates the result of actual low demand or complex bureaucratic and pricing issues?

What is known is that installations are definitely not happening fast enough for those people who want them, with waiting times stretching to as long as three months.

In response, the Infocomm Development Authority issued a directive to OpenNet to increase its installation quotas by 50 per cent.

This means 3,100 installations weekly, up from its previous quota of 2,400, a number that was already revised from 2,050 installations a week in August last year.

This increases the pressure on the already beleaguered company, which has seen a slew of challenges from the get-go: An intriguing case of cable sabotage from a former SingTel engineer, the resignation of their CEO in 2010, a fine for not testing cables and, now, an increasingly dissatisfied regulator.



LOW TAKE-UP RATES



With Singaporeans' data obsession and need for constant connectivity, it seems out of place that the rollout for a national fibre network has been slow to take off and stranger still that demand for a faster connection is apparently low.

However, we see similar resistance to fibre take-up in other countries that have started to build and deploy next-generation networks (NGNs).

Australia's National Broadband Network is targeting 93 per cent countrywide connectivity by 2021 but has only recently breached 10,000 subscribers.

New Zealand's Ultra-Fast Broadband has connected 50,000 households but has only 500 subscribers (1-per-cent take-up rate). Malaysia's High Speed Broadband (HSBB) is doing better with 310,000 subscribers but, with 1.2 million premises connected, that is still only a 26-per-cent penetration rate.

Reasons behind low take-up rates differ from country to country. Some have not managed to sell their NGNs well, perhaps by not stating clear objectives and the benefits of building yet another (albeit faster) Internet-delivery pipeline.

In the case of Australia and New Zealand, their NGNs have become a highly politicised punching bag, quite divorced from the reality of the benefits that a reliable Internet backbone would offer the country.

Despite the low take-up figures, governments have made the long-term decision to plough a huge amount of money into developing NGNs.



FIBRE IS LIKE WATER



Australia's state investment is close to A$27.5 billion (S$35.8 billion), China's Next Generation Internet will cost its government 20 billion yuan (S$4 billion) and Malaysia's government has invested RM 2.4 billion (S$961 million) in the HSBB.

Singapore has given a grant of S$750 million to OpenNet's fibre deployment.

There is a reason for this investment. A McKinsey study has shown that the Internet accounts for close to 3.4 per cent of gross domestic product in large and developed economies.

With Internet access close to being declared a universal human right, information pipelines (such as fibre) have been likened to a utility, much like water and electricity - indeed, it is imperative that we view it as such.

Singapore's aspirations to be a smart and connected city means we cannot afford to take a dim view of slow rollouts of what is technically our next national Internet pipeline.



WEEKEND INSTALLATIONS



What can be done to encourage take-up rates? Firstly, OpenNet has to make it easier for consumer installation, possibly by increasing the capacity for weekend installations.

A quick check revealed that many people were happy to be wired up. However, the installation times offered to them fell during office hours, where nobody was readily available to supervise the installation.

To speed up this process, OpenNet may need to reconsider StarHub's and M1's offers to help with installations, which OpenNet has constantly rejected.

Secondly, allowing residents a second chance at installations in a "second-pass-through" installation sweep would greatly aid the rollout numbers and would improve the perception of fibre availability.

The cost of the installations is fairly steep (S$220 for high-rise buildings and S$450 for landed property) if you happen to miss the "installation season" for your area, as one of my friends did when she was out of the country.



RELOOK COMPLEX PRICING



Finally, there should be a re-look into the cost difference between consumer and business address connectivity. Residential installations begin at S$220 but installing fibre for business addresses costs in excess of S$513, not considering additional network-point connections.

Not only is this two-tier pricing policy overly complex, it has become an abject deterrent to SOHOs (small office, home office), small SME establishments and HDB merchants who initially try to connect at residential rates and then become resentful at facing the higher fee for no discernible difference in use - as OpenNet has discovered.

OpenNet must press on to improve the rate of their fibre installations, with the demand for bandwidth and connectivity set to grow exponentially.

Singapore cannot afford to be without a national broadband pipeline - it is the enabler of the next generation of technological innovation.







Lim May-Ann is the Research Director for the Technology Research Project Corporate (TRPC), a boutique consulting firm that focuses on the economics, policy and regulation of telecommunications and information technology in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Re: To those who have been looking forward to fibre connecti

Postby zzm9980 » Wed, 25 Jul 2012 12:41 pm

the lynx wrote:RELOOK COMPLEX PRICING



Finally, there should be a re-look into the cost difference between consumer and business address connectivity. Residential installations begin at S$220 but installing fibre for business addresses costs in excess of S$513, not considering additional network-point connections.

Not only is this two-tier pricing policy overly complex, it has become an abject deterrent to SOHOs (small office, home office), small SME establishments and HDB merchants who initially try to connect at residential rates and then become resentful at facing the higher fee for no discernible difference in use - as OpenNet has discovered.

OpenNet must press on to improve the rate of their fibre installations, with the demand for bandwidth and connectivity set to grow exponentially.

Singapore cannot afford to be without a national broadband pipeline - it is the enabler of the next generation of technological innovation.


I can't speak for all of OpenNet, but Singtel definitely maintains two different network for their home and business fiber customers. From my brief usage of both, the business network had much more latency on the first few hops, and didn't look like it was redirecting all traffic through their caching proxies. (The reason why all Singtel subscribers look like they're coming from the same two subnets to our moderators).

Anyway, if they ever make it to my building, I'll be subscribing to Super Internet just to avoid that damn proxy. It causes all kinds of problems and unfortunately most end users probably don't realize it.

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Re: To those who have been looking forward to fibre connecti

Postby x9200 » Wed, 25 Jul 2012 3:51 pm

the lynx wrote:The cost of the installations is fairly steep (S$220 for high-rise buildings and S$450 for landed property) if you happen to miss the "installation season" for your area, as one of my friends did when she was out of the country.

They even waved the installation fee in our place and I was still not interested. I can not see any clear reason why I would need it and that includes an ugly trunking over some walls in the most representative places of you flat.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 25 Jul 2012 5:00 pm

Well, I've got a fibre MaxInfinity Platinum plan because of 4 young adults and one OLD kid, streaming usually 3 or 4 at a time. While I don't get really high speeds, I usually get around 170-180 Mbps downloads, but the speed I do get is no longer hampered by the other four users even if 3 or 4 of use are streaming/downloading at the same time.

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 25 Jul 2012 8:03 pm

Not 17-18 Mbps?

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 25 Jul 2012 9:38 pm

~180Mbps Singapore based. Up to 25 Mbps International (one of the reasons for upping to the Platinum Plan instead of the 100 Infinity plan which is capped at 18Mbps.

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Postby x9200 » Wed, 25 Jul 2012 10:27 pm

Eee...but you mean not the real speed but what give you the net-test pages, right? Do you have a gigabyte router and NIC in your PC?

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Postby zzm9980 » Thu, 26 Jul 2012 9:15 am

x9200 wrote:Eee...but you mean not the real speed but what give you the net-test pages, right? Do you have a gigabyte router and NIC in your PC?


Yeah, without 5GHz 802.11n your wireless won't even go that fast. And with 5GHz N, you pretty much need to be in the same room direct line of site to the router to exceed 150mbs.

I doubt you'd get that to most sites anyway, except for speedtest sites hosted by the ISP. It should be sweet though if you're on a peer to peer connection like Bit Torrent with a lot of local Singaporean peers. Unfortunately that probably doesn't happen too often :)

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 26 Jul 2012 10:50 am

Don't know, don't care. But now can stream on three or four computers at one time without stuttering, etc. Numbers for bragging rights I don't care about. Just wanted something that would handle the computer crowd at my place. I just glance at the downloading speeds as recorded by my PC, not using speed tests. Obviously there are a few time where I'm only getting 150~160 "according to the download manager" but I can live with that as it's sufficient to watch without impairment.

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Postby nakatago » Thu, 26 Jul 2012 11:15 am

I HATE YOU

:x

#iwantmycomedycentral
#iliveonoldpropertynotscheduledforfiberyet

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Postby Mi Amigo » Thu, 26 Jul 2012 1:44 pm

Haha. Nak's got fibre envy :devil:

A good router will definitely make a big difference too though, as already discussed. I'm still on StarHub cable internet (it ain't too bad most of the time) and I recently upgraded to an Asus RT-N56U router (http://uk.asus.com/Networks/Wireless_Routers/RTN56U/). All the various users of our home network noticed a singificant improvement in streaming performance, skpye, etc.

Actually, this is one for the pronunciation thread (http://forum.singaporeexpats.com/ftopic89283.html) really, but one does of course have to be careful how one pronounces the word 'router', especially in Australia & NZ, where the UK English pronunciation ("rooter") has a different meaning entirely. But I'm sure you all knew that already and I digress...
Be careful what you wish for

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Postby nakatago » Thu, 26 Jul 2012 2:04 pm

Mi Amigo wrote:Actually, this is one for the pronunciation thread (http://forum.singaporeexpats.com/ftopic89283.html) really, but one does of course have to be careful how one pronounces the word 'router', especially in Australia & NZ, where the UK English pronunciation ("rooter") has a different meaning entirely. But I'm sure you all knew that already and I digress...


I pronounce it "route-r."

But say I didn't know and walk into a Harvey Norman or Dick Smith's...."I wanna buy one of those wifi thingies." ?

:lol:

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 26 Jul 2012 4:05 pm

Mi Amigo wrote:Haha. Nak's got fibre envy :devil:

A good router will definitely make a big difference too though, as already discussed. I'm still on StarHub cable internet (it ain't too bad most of the time) and I recently upgraded to an Asus RT-N56U router (http://uk.asus.com/Networks/Wireless_Routers/RTN56U/). All the various users of our home network noticed a singificant improvement in streaming performance, skpye, etc.

Actually, this is one for the pronunciation thread (http://forum.singaporeexpats.com/ftopic89283.html) really, but one does of course have to be careful how one pronounces the word 'router', especially in Australia & NZ, where the UK English pronunciation ("rooter") has a different meaning entirely. But I'm sure you all knew that already and I digress...


It also "route-r" in the US but but without the "r" at the end it's normally pronounced root. e.g., Route 66


But for JR8, I guess it okay to have a "good 'rooter' & a fag or two late at night" :cool:

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Postby the lynx » Thu, 26 Jul 2012 4:13 pm

sundaymorningstaple wrote:
Mi Amigo wrote:Haha. Nak's got fibre envy :devil:

A good router will definitely make a big difference too though, as already discussed. I'm still on StarHub cable internet (it ain't too bad most of the time) and I recently upgraded to an Asus RT-N56U router (http://uk.asus.com/Networks/Wireless_Routers/RTN56U/). All the various users of our home network noticed a singificant improvement in streaming performance, skpye, etc.

Actually, this is one for the pronunciation thread (http://forum.singaporeexpats.com/ftopic89283.html) really, but one does of course have to be careful how one pronounces the word 'router', especially in Australia & NZ, where the UK English pronunciation ("rooter") has a different meaning entirely. But I'm sure you all knew that already and I digress...


It also "route-r" in the US but but without the "r" at the end it's normally pronounced root. e.g., Route 66


But for JR8, I guess it okay to have a "good 'rooter' & a fag or two late at night" :cool:


I'm confused. How is 'route' even pronounced?
Isn't it /rut/ for American and /raʊt/ for British? Which one applies in Singapore?

And how to pronounce 'router' actually? Isn't it supposed to be pronounced as /ˈraʊtər/?

:???:

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Postby Mi Amigo » Fri, 27 Jul 2012 11:28 am

I'm never very good with those squiggly heiroglyphic pronunciation things, but...

In the UK there are two different meanings:

A router (pronounced 'rauwter') is a woodworking tool:

Image

Then we have the electronic device, used as a kind of switchboard for data, video, audio, etc. This is pronounced 'rooter' in the UK (cos it routes - (pronounced 'roots') stuff), but definitely not in the antipodes. I always got funny looks when I used the UK pronunciation downunder. The Aussies, Yanks and many other fine folks outside of the old country generally pronounce it as 'rauwder'.
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