StarHub has extended the deadline for its cable customers to switch over to using a fibre network to access the Net, watch TV or make calls until September 30, 2019.
To avoid disruption, however, they will have to sign up for a fibre broadband service by August 31, 2019. This is because of the time needed to set things up, StarHub said today.
There has been a surge in applications to switch over in the last few days, resulting in a backlog, explained the telecom operator today.
It is working closely with fibre network operator NetLink Trust to resolve fibre installation delays due to more complex requirements for infrastructure, such as ducts, wiring and choked lead-in pipes, in some homes, it said in a statement.
In November 2018, StarHub announced that its hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) network would be shut down by the end of June 2019. It had decided to do so, as the number of users on its cable TV and cable broadband has shrunk in recent years.
Shutting down its old network also means the service provider can lower costs involved in delivering its core consumer services, which have come under pressure from competition from local rivals as well as international players such as Netflix.
Since the announcement, StarHub has helped “hundreds of thousands” of customers move over to fibre services, it said today. However, the switchover invariably brings rivals into the game as well, as they will be gunning for users looking for a change.
To stay competitive, StarHub itself has junked its old cable TV packages and offered more flexible ones, including channels delivered over its own Android set-top box.
However, it is faced with a disrupted market, in which it no longer controls the distribution of content. Former exclusive content partners such as HBO and TVB are selling direct to viewers via their own apps.