The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) has issued OpenNet with a Facilities-Based Operator (FBO) Licence for it to commence the roll out of Singapore's Next Generation National Broadband Network (Next Gen NBN). It has also approved OpenNet's implementation plan of the Asset Company (AssetCo) which will own and control the relevant underlying passive infrastructure assets that are used to support OpenNet's deployment.
OpenNet and Nucleus Connect are ready to deploy the Next Gen NBN. From left, Ms Khoo Ai Lin, OpenNet Finance Director, RADM(NS) Ronnie Tay, IDA CEO, Ms Yong Ying-I, IDA Chairman and Mr David Storrie, Nucleus Connect CEO.
These developments marked the successful achievement of the Contractual and Financial Close (CFC) by the Next Gen NBN Network Company. The Next Gen NBN comprises three key industry layers - the Network Company (NetCo), the Operating Company (OpCo) and the Retail Service Providers (RSPs). As the NetCo, OpenNet is responsible for the design, build and operation of the passive infrastructure layer.
The AssetCo, as proposed by OpenNet in its NetCo Request-for-Proposal (RFP) submission, will leverage the existing underlying assets that will be transferred from SingTel to AssetCo . These assets include central offices, ducts and manholes. By doing this, OpenNet will be able to achieve a speedy deployment with minimal disruption when civil works begin this year.
The AssetCo will be established as a business trust within 24 months of OpenNet's CFC. SingTel will be required to reduce its unit holdings in the AssetCo to less than 25 per cent within 60 months of OpenNet's CFC, subject to SingTel obtaining relevant approvals. The management and operations of AssetCo will be undertaken by a neutral Trustee-Manager, which will be an FBO licensee.
IDA has also signed the Next Gen NBN OpCo contract with Nucleus Connect. The OpCo is responsible for the design, build and operation of the active infrastructure to provide wholesale broadband connectivity to Retail Service Providers, the downstream operators.
As the OpCo of the Next Gen NBN, Nucleus Connect will be working with OpenNet towards achieving 60 per cent coverage of all residential premises and non-residential buildings by end 2010, and 95 per cent of all residential premises and non-residential buildings by 2012.