The OpenNet consortium, which is charged with overseeing the deployment of Singapore’s upcoming ultra-high speed broadband network, says it intends to start rolling out fibre-optic cables into commercial and residential properties from September 2009. The consortium, which comprises SingTel, Singapore Press Holdings, SP Telecommunications and Axia Netmedia, is itself investing SGD100 million (USD68.7 million) in the project, in addition to the SGD750 million funding being poured into the scheme by the Singapore Infocomm Development Authority (IDA). OpenNet says it plans to commence fibre-optic rollout in Macpherson, Jurong, Middle Road and Geylang, connecting 56,000 households and 1,000 office buildings in the first month. Although the initial installation offering is free, subsequent requests for installation from those who refuse the initial offer will have to pay SGD220/connection (residential high-rise) and SGD450/connection (residential landed properties). All homes and offices, excepting some in rural areas or those scheduled for demolition, are expected to be cabled by 2012. The city-state’s ultra-high speed broadband network could begin offering commercial services as early as next year, providing broadband internet access of up to 1Gbps.