SingTel Forms FTTH Bid Group

SINGAPORE -- Axia NetMedia Corporation (Axia NetMedia, 30%), Singapore Telecommunications Limited (SingTel, 30%), Singapore Press Holdings Limited (SPH, 25%) and SP Telecommunications Pte Ltd (SPT, 15%) have formed a consortium to jointly bid to build a truly ultra high-speed broadband network for Singapore.

The Axia-led consortium, named OpenNet, submitted a bid earlier today in response to the Request for Proposal for the Next Generation National Broadband Network - Network Company (NetCo) by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA). Its proposal exceeds the requirements of the government and its iN2015 blueprint, particularly in areas such as timeline and design.

OpenNet proposes a comprehensive plan for a truly open, better and faster fibre-to-the-home network with guaranteed success, which the entire Singapore population can enjoy. It will deliver pristine open access, which is accomplished through: (i) No individual parties having control over OpenNet (ii) Three of the four OpenNet owners are not integrated telecommunications players hence there are no conflicting interests (iii) Network is specifically designed to enable choice by OpenNet customers, large and small (iv) Interests are aligned as OpenNet’s commercial success depends on its customers’ success.

In the proposal, OpenNet will leverage SingTel’s existing extensive high-quality ducting network and turn it into an ultra-fast broadband network. Reliability is also guaranteed as the subterranean ducting system is least vulnerable to damage. OpenNet can deliver a resilient tamper-proof fibre-to-the-home network at least two and a half years ahead of schedule of the iN2015 vision. OpenNet is positioned to complete the network rollout by June 2010.

The strengths and experience of each member place the consortium in the best position to bring competition and choice to the market.

Canada-based Axia NetMedia has extensive experience in planning, designing and operating truly open access no-conflict next generation networks in Canada and Europe. Their business model drives healthy competition in the market which gives consumers choice and new offerings at affordable prices.

With SingTel’s ownership of and SPT’s access to existing critical infrastructure, as well as their technical expertise, the consortium can leverage and turn the infrastructure into true ultra-fast broadband networks in a much shorter turnaround time to deliver the next generation NBN and at a fraction of the costs compared to a greenfield operation. There will also be minimal public inconvenience such as roadworks to lay the fibres and cables.

Leading media company SPH believes that the new network will enhance the content and delivery of its many interactive digital media products and at the same time, provide increased connectivity which will boost Singapore’s economic and social growth.

Mr Art Price, Chairman and CEO, Axia NetMedia, said: “Axia successfully operates Open Access next generation networks in Alberta, Canada and France which give us a unique perspective. We have been very impressed with the sophisticated approach taken by the IDA and our partners in this consortium.

Axia NetMedia Corp. (TSE: AXX)

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