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More than 1-in-5 households on Fibre; Fibre broadband gaining traction rapidly

A Fibre Index Survey commissioned by OpenNet shows an uptrend in user satisfaction with fibre broadband connectivity. This bodes well for the take-up of fibre as more than 1-in-5 households are now using fibre connections for internet access, IPTV and other bandwidth-intensive applications. The survey also highlights a considerable increase in the number of broadband users accessing the Internet to download, upload and store digital content. The survey was carried out by Acorn Marketing & Research Consultants. 

“We found a greater satisfaction with fibre services among existing customers and an increasing demand for hassle-free online experiences among non-fibre users,” said Mr Mark Blake, CEO, OpenNet. “Requests for optical fibre broadband connections are growing consistently with seasonal spikes during local IT shows such as the recently concluded SITEX 2012.”

OpenNet’s subscriber base has grown to 250,000 in November 2012, a 150% increase from the 100,000 subscribers recorded at the start of the year.  To meet the temporary increase in demand from the SITEX 2012 show, OpenNet added more than 4400 seasonal installation slots.

While the penetration of home internet remains the same, the Fibre Index shows an increase in the frequency of Internet usage in the average household. There is also a significant jump in the number of users accessing the Internet for music and video downloads, online file storage and online conferencing.” said Mr Blake.

The survey found that while the broadband penetration rate stayed at 93%, the Internet is becoming more important to Singaporeans with the number of respondents reporting daily usage increasing from 76% in 2011 to 87% in 2012. 

Email access (84%) and video streaming (72%) remain the most popular online activities. Video downloads saw a 45% increase with 49% respondents engaging in the activity in 2012 as opposed to 27% in 2011. Music downloads saw a 31% increase with 48% respondents engaging in the activity in 2012 as opposed to 33% in 2011. Online file storage (29%), online calls and conferencing (40%) and video content uploads (45%) all saw significant growth as opposed to the previous year.

“We also observed interesting trends in the preferred online activities among different age-groups. While the younger set spends the most time on entertainment applications such as music and gaming, the older users go for more practical applications such as online banking and trading,” shared Mr Blake.

While 15-24-year-olds are more likely to spend their time downloading music, uploading photos and gaming, the 25-34-year-olds spend more time streaming videos and purchasing tickets or other items online. The 35 and older group spend more time engaging in online banking, trading, accessing work files and emails and blogging.

Fibre broadband trends

“It’s encouraging to see that fibre customers today are considerably more satisfied with their fibre installation and usage experiences than they were a year ago,” shared Mr Blake. Overall customer experience has improved with satisfaction for terminal point (TP) installations having gone up from 68% in 2011 to 84% in 2012. Among fibre broadband users, 74% are satisfied with their connection with 27% being extremely satisfied. There is also now greater interest in fibre with 43% of users who’ve received a fibre broadband advertisement or promotion wanting to sign up this year as opposed to 38% of users in 2011.

The survey included feedback on regular Internet issues such as dropped connections, slow Internet during peak hours, slow streaming and download speeds, longer page load times, poor quality Internet calls, among others. “Fibre users were found to be less likely to face problems with their connection than non-fibre users, up to almost 20% lower depending on the issues concerned. Most notably, fibre broadband services fared much better than non-fibre services in the areas of: performance with multiple users engaging in online activities at the same time; performance during peak hours; and file download and page load speeds,” added Mr Blake.

Some of the most compelling benefits that make users opt for a fibre broadband connection include: downloading a full movie in 3-5 minutes; all members of the household being able to use the Internet at the same time without degraded performance; access to international websites at a faster speed; instant photo upload and sharing at full resolution; and faster connections to US-based TV and video services such as Hulu and Netflix.

Overall, the primary motivation behind fibre adoption remains faster Internet (65%) followed by cost efficiency (25%), better technology (7%), stable connectivity (6%), end of current contract (4%) and promotional offers (4%). Internet usage patterns remain similar across non-fibre and fibre users with some spikes in video streaming, online banking and gaming for fibre users.

About the OpenNet Fibre Index survey

The OpenNet Fibre Index survey was conducted independently among a representative sample of n=500 Singapore citizens and PRs aged 15 and over. All respondents were a key decision maker or influencer in choice of home broadband. Fieldwork was conducted via door-knocks and telephone interviews between August 24th and September 28th 2012.

About Acorn Marketing & Research Consultants

Founded in Singapore in 1985, Acorn Marketing & Research Consultants has grown to become the largest independent Asian research network, with full service operations in Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, China, Thailand, Taiwan, Korea, Indonesia and Vietnam. The premium tier agency specialises in strategic brand planning, product development and in-depth studies. 

For more information about Acorn, visit

About OpenNet Pte Ltd 

OpenNet is responsible for building, managing and operating the world’s first nationwide all-optical fibre platform, which is the key foundation of Singapore’s Next Gen NBN. Next Gen NBN is designed to be an ultra-high bandwidth, resilient and scalable state-of-the-art optical fibre network that is capable of delivering speeds of 1Gbps and above to homes, offices and premises around Singapore.

For more information about OpenNet, visit

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