StarHub Wins OpCo Deal

StarHub's bid to build and manage the OpCo for the Next-Gen NBN has been selected by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

April 3, 2009

3 Min Read

SINGAPORE -- StarHub is pleased to announce that its bid to build and manage the OpCo for the Next-Gen NBN has been selected by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).

Called Nucleus Connect, the OpCo will design, build and operate the active infrastructure of the Next-Gen NBN, a nation-wide pervasive, competitively-priced ultra-high speed broadband network linking business users at the workplace, and Singaporeans at home, schools, learning institutions and other premises. The OpCo will also provide wholesale broadband connectivity to other operating companies and downstream operators, in particular, retail service providers (RSP). Ultimately, these RSPs will compete to provide innovative broadband services to end-users.

Mr Terry Clontz, StarHub’s CEO, said: “We are delighted that IDA has selected our proposal. Our proposal is the culmination of years of StarHub’s extensive experience in managing and operating what is already Singapore’s highest speed broadband network in Singapore. With the fiber optic-based Next-Gen NBN being extended directly to homes and businesses, Singapore will benefit from a robust national infrastructure that will serve the country’s broadband needs well into the future.”

StarHub’s OpCo plan offers a comprehensive and flexible package of services that will help all RSPs – both niche and large players alike – select and deliver broadband connectivity services to their target markets quickly and seamlessly. In addition, the bid outlines the OpCo’s commitment to create a vibrant RSP environment by establishing an integration test lab facility that will help RSPs trial and test out new applications and services over the Next-Gen NBN before commercial deployment. The OpCo is also committed to attracting overseas online service providers to host their content in Singapore. With the fast broadband speeds provided by the Next-Gen NBN, this will undoubtedly bring a more enriching experience to the end users here.

To meet IDA’s operational separation requirements, StarHub is committed to start up Nucleus Connect as a wholly-owned subsidiary within the year, with an eye to begin commercial operations in 1Q-2010. Actual availability of ultra-high broadband connectivity to homes and businesses in Singapore will depend on the roll-out schedule of OpenNet, the Network Company (NetCo) which is responsible for the passive infrastructure of the Next-Gen NBN. Singaporeans can expect to have ultra-high broadband connectivity of up to 1Gbps in 95% of homes and offices by June 2012.

Nucleus Connect expects to spend about $1 billion for the active network over the 25-year period of the license. It is eligible for the government grant of up to $250 million from IDA. StarHub's investment in Nucleus Connect is estimated to be around $100 million.

Said Mr Clontz, “Now that the formalisation of both the NetCo and OpCo is almost complete, this ambitious project can finally begin in earnest. Singaporeans will be able to experience ultra-high speed broadband connectivity at least two and a half years ahead of schedule of the government’s iN2015 vision. We look forward to working with OpenNet closely to bring the Government's objectives to fruition. We are also keen to work with the multitude of RSPs to deliver the next-generation of online applications and services to all Singaporeans, and transform Singapore into the digital harbour of the future.”


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