Fibre connection termination issues: NetLink replies

We thank Mr Gibson Ho Khim Weng for his letter ("Speed up fibre connection process"; Dec 19).

NetLink Trust has been connecting all households in Singapore with fibre.

Each fibre is used to support one retail service provider (RSP) at any one time.

In instances when a tenant applies for a new fibre broadband connection while the previous tenant has an existing connection that has not been terminated, the new service provider will need to raise an order to NetLink Trust to install an additional fibre to the home.

This leads to a longer waiting time.

NetLink Trust can terminate a connection only upon receiving written instruction from the previous tenant's service provider, as NetLink Trust has a service level obligation to the service provider to ensure that the fibre remains connected.

Unlike the electricity utility industry, under the current Nationwide Broadband Network requirements, tenants, or the end-users, are required to contact their RSPs instead of NetLink Trust directly when there are any changes to their subscription.

This is in view of the fact that NetLink Trust's contractual relationship is with the service provider and with not the end-user.

NetLink Trust is, therefore, unable to accept a termination request from the end-user.

NetLink Trust is unable to disclose information identifying the service provider due to confidentiality obligations, and not the Personal Data Protection Act, as cited by Mr Ho.

We have since reached out to Mr Ho on his concerns.

We will continue to work closely with the Infocomm Media Development Authority and our industry partners to improve processes and requirements.

We have also been proactively laying additional fibres in residential and non-residential buildings.

In the meantime, we encourage RSPs to consider sharing the same fibre through the Enhanced Fibre Takeover Process, an initiative which allows the new RSP to "take over" the existing fibre connection, to further reduce waiting time for end-users.

Victor Chan

Director, Corporate Planning

NetLink Trust

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 23, 2016, with the headline 'Fibre connection termination issues: NetLink replies'. Print Edition | Subscribe