A strange thing happened yesterday in Singapore, when a slew of new broadband offerings became available at competitive prices, over the country’s new fibre optic network being extended to homes and offices.
The new next-gen network, four years in the making, is now starting to be available to homes and offices, which are being progressively hooked up. By mid-2012, 95 per cent of the island will be wired up.
Since the new network, partly funded by taxpayers’ dollars, mandates an open wholesale price for all telcos, no single operator gets preferential rates to use and resell the bandwidth provided by it. This means a level playing field for all telcos, and better deals for consumers down the stream.
After years of being tied to either StarHub or SingTel – other operators could not price things lower because they were wholesaling from the duopolies – users can actually see some real choices for their high-speed links at home.
Whether you think you will use all that speed, or if the speed actually makes a difference to the way your use the Net, the benefits are real. Prices are expected to eventually fall even for low-end plans.
Already, we have seen top-end plans – the previous fastest 100Mbps cable modem plan from StarHub – being made unattractive by cheaper and faster offerings on the new network. Prices for slower services are expected to follow suit, as more higher-speed offerings come to market and exert pressure on prices.
Here’s a slice of what we have seen from the five operators rolling out fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) services so far for consumers. At the moment, it’s hard to always get apples-to-apples comparison, because operators are offering services at several different speeds.
|150Mbps download 75Mbps upload
|TBA next month
SingTel also offers a 200Mbps service for about S$100 (with mio TV programme bundles). Meanwhile, M1 has a 1,000Mbps service, which comes with a crazy S$399 monthly price tag. Strictly for those running a data centre at home!
UPDATE: StarHub has also launched its fibre-based services, ranging from 100Mbps to 1Gbps. It is more expensive than M1 at the 100Mbps level, and has a 1Gbps home plan at S$395.90.