OpenNet fined S$240,000 for poor quality of service

May 10th, 2014 | by Alfred Siew

010_8589

Another day, another fine for a telecom company in Singapore.

This time, OpenNet has been told to cough up S$240,000 after it failed to provide fibre broadband services to non-residential users on time, from April to September last year.

The company, tasked to build the country’s national fibre optic network, had failed to connect up users fast enough, according to new standards set by the government regulator in January 2013.

Revealing that OpenNet had failed to meet the targets by a “large margin”, the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) yesterday said it sought to take deterrent action against the company.

The IDA appears justified in its tough talk. A quick glance at the numbers released yesterday shows that OpenNet’s performance has actually got poorer over time.

In January 2013, it had managed to connect about 60 per cent of users within four weeks, below the 80 per cent target. It hooked up 86 per cent of users within eight weeks, again below the 100 per cent requirement.

Things got even worse as the year progressed. In September 2013, the company connected only 46 per cent of users within four weeks and 66 per cent in eight weeks.

As a result, many users could not get hooked up to the nation’s fast broadband services, because they were stuck trying to get OpenNet to connect them.

Opennet fails QoS

The issue is a long standing one (read our commentary in 2012). Last year, OpenNet was also fined S$750,000 for delays in provisioning its service as well.

Will the fine work this time? Well, OpenNet has responded to the news by saying it would be working with building owners as well as Internet service providers to get the connections up faster. It also promised to increase its resources, though it did not specify by how much.

The big question is whether things will improve in 2014. When OpenNet was sold to a SingTel business trust late last year, the expectation was that such installations would be smoother.

Then again, consumer expectations of telecom services have never been lower, if increasingly hefty penalties meted out by the IDA are any indication.

Just on Tuesday, the IDA had fined SingTel a record S$6 million for a fire at a telecom exchange that brought down major services from home broadband to electronic payment terminals. OpenNet was also fined S$200,000 for not restoring services fast enough.

Advertisements

2 Comments

  1. Lo says:

    With regards to opennet’s poor quality of service, I wish to share my personal experience as follows :

    I subscribed to MyRepublic’s 1Gbps offer, and wa subsequently informed of an appointment with opennet on May 7 2-4pm for the fibre connection. The apartment where the installation is currently vacant. I went to the vacant apartment and waited for opennet installation guy to show up. No one did after 2pm, so I called up MyRepublic to enquire about if I can be put in touch with the installation guy so I can communicate with them. A rep from MyRepublic said the job is done by a third party and he did not hv the installation conteCtor’s number. Fair enough. So I called up opennet and check the same. In both calls, I was informed that the installation at my apartment was scheduled between 2-4pm, and the installation guy will show up during that period. Opennet rep agreed to put me in touch with the installation contractor and I shall expect a call from them before they arrived. All rosy. After 4pm, no one showed up. I called opennet again and asked for an update, and was shocked to learn that my installation was not to be carried today before of some technical issue and opennet’s rep claimed that MyRepublic has been informed of such cancelling beforehand, and she couldn’t give me a new date for installation. So I asked for someone who can to call me back for an update. A day later, no one called me, so I called MyRepublic and opennet again, to try to sort out this matter.

    Both parties promised to call me back, no one did, inonlybget to talk to whoever is over their ‘hotline’; I got an SMS from MyRepublic apologizing for the change on schedule, but no new date was given for installation of my fibre net connection. I am still waiting for a new installation date.

  2. Lo says:

    With regards to opennet’s poor quality of service, I wish to share my personal experience as follows :

    I subscribed to MyRepublic’s 1Gbps offer, and wa subsequently informed of an appointment with opennet on May 7 2-4pm for the fibre connection. The apartment where the installation is currently vacant. I went to the vacant apartment and waited for opennet installation guy to show up. No one did after 2pm, so I called up MyRepublic to enquire about if I can be put in touch with the installation guy so I can communicate with them. A rep from MyRepublic said the job is done by a third party and he did not hv the installation conteCtor’s number. Fair enough. So I called up opennet and check the same. In both calls, I was informed that the installation at my apartment was scheduled between 2-4pm, and the installation guy will show up during that period. Opennet rep agreed to put me in touch with the installation contractor and I shall expect a call from them before they arrived. All rosy. After 4pm, no one showed up. I called opennet again and asked for an update, and was shocked to learn that my installation was not to be carried today before of some technical issue and opennet’s rep claimed that MyRepublic has been informed of such cancelling beforehand, and she couldn’t give me a new date for installation. So I asked for someone who can to call me back for an update. A day later, no one called me, so I called MyRepublic and opennet again, to try to sort out this matter.

    Both parties promised to call me back, no one did, inonlybget to talk to whoever is over their ‘hotline’; I got an SMS from MyRepublic apologizing for the change on schedule, but no new date was given for installation of my fibre net connection. I am still waiting for a new installation date.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.