About 47,000 customers still on Singtel's ageing asymmetric digital subscriber line (ADSL) broadband network have until March next year to migrate to faster broadband technologies.
In a statement yesterday, Singtel said it will be shutting down its copper-based ADSL network - introduced more than 15 years ago - in April next year. It will send out letters to affected customers to offer them what industry regulator Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) understands to be "comparable or cheaper" fibre broadband packages. Fibre-based networks offer surfing speeds that are over 10 times faster than ADSL technologies.
"Singtel will work closely with relevant stakeholders to ensure our customers will enjoy a smooth and fuss-free transition to the fibre network," said Mr Wong Soon Nam, Singtel Consumer Singapore's vice-president for consumer products.
IMDA said it is no longer commercially viable for Singtel to maintain the ageing technology on a nationwide basis. "With the proliferation of fibre connectivity in Singapore, the demand for services provided over legacy copper infrastructure such as ADSL broadband services has declined significantly over the years," an IMDA spokesman said.
ADSL broadband subscriptions account for less than 3 per cent of broadband subscriptions, IMDA noted. To minimise disruption to affected customers, those tied to ADSL contracts may exit their contracts without early termination charges - even if they do not wish to sign up for any of Singtel's fibre-based services. Last month, M1 launched a promotion to target ADSL customers, offering them a 1Gbps broadband package - the cheapest 1Gbps plan here - for only $29 a month.
Singtel will also cease copper installations in commercial buildings that obtain Temporary Occupation Permit status from April next year, and will instead install fibre-based networks. Singtel ceased copper deployment to new residential buildings in 2013.