TELECOM & INTERNET | Krisana Gallezo-Estaura, Singapore

Put up or shut up: Starhub warns MyRepublic on NBN claims

Starhub takes aim at allegations  made by founders of MyRepublic, two of which are Starhub's ex-seniors.

“We are very concerned about references made by MyRepublic, suggesting that StarHub discourages its customers to move to the Next-Gen NBN. StarHub fully supports the rollout of the Next-Gen NBN and is disappointed with the rather irresponsible statements made by the new entrant,” said Starhub Vice President of Home Solutions Iris Wee in an email sent to Singapore Business Review in response to a story ran yesterday, Feb.16.

The story titled “Singapore telco giants get competition with MyRepublic” quoted CEO & co-founder of MyRepublic Malcolm Rodrigues saying the following:

“There is a documented case where StarHub actually encouraged a customer to stick to their current cable broadband instead of switching to fibre. There are many such references in online forums, as the Internet-using public shares their experiences in trying to get NBN service.”

In an email to Singapore Business Review, the founders of MyRepublic who are ex senior telco directors claimed that while Singtel, Starhub and M1 offer NBN, they do not promote it and do not offer it at its full potential.

According to Mr Rodrigues, the principle goal of the 3 Telcos does not lie in offering customers the best of NBN. This mainly stems, he said from their legacies of other types of broadband services they have to promote and sell.

Mr. Rodrigues noted that the 3 telcos apply traditional engineering models to the NBN which cause them to have very high contention ratios - number of customers that share one pipe, cap international capacity, and throttle customer traffic at peak hours from 9pm to 2am.

MyRepublic, meanwhile he said has no legacies they need to protect and is only interested in working with customers to give them the best NBN experience.

Mr Rodrigues was a former Vice President of StarHub International & Wholesale. He founded MyRepublic with KC Lai who was also a former StarHub’s Senior VP of Consumer Sales for 10 years and Greg Mittman who was tasked to lead Alcatel-Lucent’s NBN team. Get to know the people behind My Republic

Responding to the allegations, Ms. Wee said “Our fibre broadband plans and promotions are prominently advertised on our website, shop front and retail advertisements. They are equal to, if not more attractively priced than the equivalent on our cable platform. The public is well aware of the ongoing issues that the RSPs and Nucleus Connect have with OpenNet with regard to delays in service activation that would pose more of a serious problem to adoption of fibre broadband.”

As for the statement about not tying customers down to contracts, Ms Wee has this to say: “Customers have the flexibility to subscribe to any of our services without contract. They have the freedom to choose and we give them the power to choose plans that suit their various needs.”

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