Singapore eyes bids for new broadband network plan

Singapore called on bids to build the country's next-generation broadband network, saying the winning bidder would have to be structurally separate from the city-state's telecommunication and internet operators, a Reuters report said.

The Reuters report said this means that the country's dominant telecom firms SingTel and StarHub will have to create separate entities in order to bid for the project.

'If necessary, the government is also prepared to consider legislation to achieve effective open access for downstream operators in the next-generation broadband market,' Lee Boon Yang, Singapore's Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts, was quoted by the Reuters report as saying.

The plan will link homes, schools and offices in the city-state to a high speed internet system.

Acording to Lee, telecom and internet service providers would not be allowed to have effective control over the network infrastructure, which is expected to be ready by 2015, in order to ensure open access.

The government will award the winning bid by September next year, based on criteria including the proposed quality of the network and other business plans. It will offer a grant of up to S$750 million to help build the network, the report further said.