The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) announced that it imposed a financial penalty of $150,000 on NetLink Trust (NLT) for failing to meet its Quality of Service (QoS) standards in the current assessment periods.
IMDA said that during the assessment period from July 2016 to June 2017, NLT had fulfilled 91.54 percent to 94.83 percent of residential service orders within three business days or by the Request for Activation (RFA) Date in each month.
While this is an improvement over the last assessment period, it noted that it is below the QoS standard of 98 percent required by IMDA.
It also said that NLT had fulfilled 92.75 percent to 96.14 percent of monthly residential service orders within seven business days, or an additional four business days from the RFA date, which is also below the QoS standard of 100 percent.
IMDA noted that one contributing factor is that the residential broadband landscape has evolved to one with high adoption of fibre broadband services amongst households.
"The competitive fibre broadband service plans for customers in the market have resulted in an increasing number of households switching between service providers to take advantage of plans that offer more value. As the existing fibre broadband service is delivered through an optical fibre, to provision service to these households, either a second optical fibre, or handing over of this first optical fibre between service providers, is required," it said.
"While NLT has provisioned first fibre orders relating to a household’s initial broadband service in a timely manner, it has taken a longer time to provision some orders relating to such switches," the authority added.
IMDA said that it has thus imposed a financial penalty of $100,000 on NLT for not meeting the residential QoS standards during this period.
The authority said that NLT is required to fulfil 80% of non-residential service orders within four calendar weeks of the date of the service order, or by the RFA date.
According to IMDA, during the assessment period from January 2016 to March 2017, NLT fulfilled 72.06 percent to 97.54 percent of non-residential service orders within this timeline.
On a monthly basis, it said that NLT’s performance from January 2016 to May 2016 was close to, but still below, the QoS standard of 80 percent and that NLT met the QoS standard for 10 months from June 2016 to March 2017.
IMDa said that NLT is also required to fulfil 100 percent of these service orders within eight calendar weeks of the date of the service order, or within four calendar weeks of the RFA date. However, NLT fulfilled 88.74 percent to 99.80 percent of these service orders within this timeline.
On a monthly basis, NLT achieved more than 90 percent for its performance from March 2016 onwards and reached 99.80 percent in July 2016.
IMDA said that NLT had improved its work processes for the provisioning of non-residential orders, enabling NLT to improve its QoS performance for the current assessment period. However, its performance was still under the QoS standards.
As such, IMDA noted that it has imposed a financial penalty of $50,000 on NLT for not meeting the non-residential QoS standards for the first indicator from January to May 2016, and the second indicator from January 2016 to March 2017.
In deciding the financial penalty quantum for NLT’s non-compliance for both the residential and non-residential QoS standards respectively, IMDA said that it has considered the efforts by NLT to provision services on time, the improvements shown, and the nature of end user demands.
IMDA also took into consideration delays outside of NLT’s control despite NLT’s best efforts, such as the time taken by building owners to allow site access into buildings.
IMDA stated that it expects NLT to ensure that there is sufficient spare fibre in residential buildings to cater to all residential orders, and continue to improve its processes and systems to ensure it meets all QoS standards.
"IMDA will continue to monitor NLT’s performance closely," the authority said.