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OpenNet in row with home owner over junction box location

Dispute centres on placing of shared equipment at owner's car porch

Published on Jan 27, 2014 8:04 AM
 
Close-up of an OpenNet installation. OpenNet is embroiled in a disagreement over the location of a junction box in a condominium in Tanah Merah. What it thought was the common property of the estate turned out to be the private property of a resident. -- ST PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM

OpenNet is embroiled in a disagreement over the location of a junction box in a condominium in Tanah Merah. What it thought was the common property of the estate turned out to be the private property of a resident.

The dispute started in September last year when a worker from an Internet service provider noticed that OpenNet's junction box was in Mr Mah Chor Meng's condominium unit in Tanah Merah. The box was mounted on a wall of the private car porch.

The general manager of a global technology and finance firm, 49, was told that the box distributes fibre signals to several homes. It should have been located in the common area of the estate so technicians can easily access it to fix his neighbours' network problems.

What ensued was a string of e-mail exchanges between Mr Mah and OpenNet that soured relationships. Mr Mah took issue with the installation as he was not informed that shared equipment would be installed in his private property. "Do I have to move my car each time OpenNet comes to my porch to service my neighbours' fibre connections? If I had known, I would have objected to the installation," he told The Straits Times.

 
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Background story

INCONVENIENCED

Do I have to move my car each time OpenNet comes to my porch to service my neighbours' fibre connections? If I had known, I would have objected to the installation.

- Mr Mah Chor Meng, who had a junction box fixed at his car porch

OWNER'S RESPONSIBILITY

Though installations may sit within the owner's premises that appear to be common areas, it should be the MCST and the owner's responsibility to advise OpenNet accordingly.

- Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore spokesman