THE company given the task of building Singapore's multibillion-dollar, high-speed fibre broadband network has been warned for failing to meet customer service quality standards.
Separately, OpenNet has been fined $100,000 for delaying the supply of cooling services to Internet service providers (ISPs), more of which are locating their network equipment in OpenNet's premises.
These penalties imposed on it were in documents seen by The Straits Times.
For two months last year, OpenNet failed to ensure that at least 98 per cent of the connections it installed in homes were working when customers signed for a plan with ISPs such as SingTel, StarHub and M1. Consumers with faulty connections could not get online.
Regulator Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) found that 97.62 per cent and 97.9 per cent of OpenNet's lines in homes were working in September and October, respectively.
OpenNet had appealed to the Minister for Information, Communications and the Arts in August last year to stop the IDA from introducing the quality standards in the following month. It failed in its appeal.
Failing to comply with the rules may attract a fine of $10,000 a month.
But the IDA said it decided to warn OpenNet instead as the quality standards were newly introduced and the extent of non-compliance was "small".
As for the $100,000 fine, the IDA said it was for failing to meet its directive given in October last year.
The IDA had ordered OpenNet to include the prices and terms for the supply of cooling services to ISPs in its contract with them. Cooling services are necessary to prevent network equipment such as routers from overheating and being damaged by the heat.
The terms had to be submitted to the regulator for approval by Jan 13 this year - a date that had been extended thrice from the original deadline of November last year. But OpenNet did not make the amendments, as directed, until April this year.
In deciding on the fine, the IDA said it took into account "the seriousness of the contravention". Failing to provide such a service could potentially risk the safety of OpenNet's premises in Ayer Rajah, Bedok, Orchard, Tampines and Tuas. Broadband service to customers may also be affected if equipment is damaged.
OpenNet had appealed to the minister against the fine in March. But its appeal was unsuccessful.
It is not the first time the company had been fined. In February last year, it was fined an undisclosed amount by the IDA for failing to test the cables installed to make sure they work.
When contacted, an OpenNet spokesman said it was committed to service quality and had arranged for "appropriate measures" with its key subcontractor SingTel to ensure broadband lines were working. On the fine, she said OpenNet was "disappointed" as it felt there were mitigating factors not fully considered by the IDA. She declined to elaborate on these factors.
OpenNet is a consortium of Axia NetMedia, SingTel, SP Telecommunications and Singapore Press Holdings.
About 95 per cent of homes and offices have been hooked up to the fibre-optic broadband network. OpenNet is obligated as network builder to achieve 100 per cent coverage by next January, but it said it would not be able to do that till the middle of the year.
More than 220,000 subscribers have signed up for fibre broadband.
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