Fibre broadband start-up MyRepublic, based in Singapore and backed by Indonesian telco Sunshine Network and French telecoms billionaire Xavier Niel, has announced plans to launch in the Australian market, but only over fibre-to-the-home (FTTH), with CEO Malcolm Rodrigues making some pointed and derisory comments about Australia’s next generation broadband network (NBN).
MyRepublic started offering broadband internet services in Singapore in 2011, and in July 2014 received a cash injection of SGD30 million (USD24.1 million) from its owners, as it looks to carve out a niche as the state’s fourth operator – including the hoped for launch of 4G mobile services next year. Rodrigues is on record as saying that the start-up’s plan to disrupt markets in which it is present is beginning to bear fruit in Singapore where MyRepublic aims to take as much as 30% of the fibre broadband segment – not least by offering a 1Gbps connection priced at SGD49 per month at a time when competitors are charging as much as SGD395 for a similar speed service. Following successful launches in New Zealand (October 2014) and Indonesia (July 2015), MyRepublic bullishly states it is now ‘rearing up’ to launch in direct competition with the likes of Telstra, TPG and Optus from next year. Initially, the newcomer intends to offer a 100Mbps service priced at AUD80-AUD90 (USD59-USD67) per month, a fact which led Rodrigues to make some uncomplimentary comments about the nation’s AUD41 billion NBN. ‘On FTTN we’ll market 100Mbps and when people come over we’ll say “Sorry, thank your government that you’re on a [expletive deleted] network and the most you can get is 20-30Mbps”. We will continue to lobby your government to turn it into a fibre-to-the-home one and as soon as you get there we’ll get you a free upgrade to fibre,’ Rodrigues was quoted as saying by Fairfax Media.