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Better protection for consumers who signed up for fibre broadband

By Andrew Pang

I was one of many who signed up for the Fibre Broadband promotion (with MyRepublic) at Comex 2014 that was held in end August. Since then, I have not received any information on the installation, yet I cannot sign up with another service provider because MyRepublic has 'locked in' my contract.

I contacted MyRepublic and they attributed the delay to infrastructure delay from Netlink Trust. I believe I am not the only one who is going through this, and I wrote to the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA). Besides a template reply from the customer service, there was no real solution from IDA to better protect consumers from such lapse in service from both Netlink Trust and the various fibre broadband service provider.

I would like to pose a few questions to IDA and its board of directors.

What is IDA doing to provide better protection to the consumers? Is IDA studying measures that will put pressure on Netlink Trust and service providers to deliver by a certain timeline or the contract will be considered void? Otherwise, how long should consumers be expected to wait yet be bonded by a contract that a service provider is not even providing?

The delay by Netlink Trust is nothing new. It was inherent even during the time that OpenNet was in operation. How many years have it been since IDA first envisioned for Singapore to be the World's First Smart Nation, yet been bugged with such infrastructural delays? Surely in an efficient country like Singapore, this problem should have been fixed few years back.

The apparent change from OpenNet to Netlink Trust has done nothing to solve the problem. Why is it that OpenNet and now Netlink Trust, being the sole provider of the fibre network connection, have not been penalised for breach of Quality of Service standards that IDA has put in place?

How long more must consumer wait before IDA becomes more pro-active to solve the problem? If the public demands SMRT be held responsible for the breakdown and delay of train services, shouldn't IDA be held responsible for the non performance of your vendors?