SingTel penalized $100,000

Melissa Chua
17 Jan 2011

Singapore Telecommunications (SingTel), Singapore’s largest carrier, has been slapped with fines totaling S$130,000 ($101,000) by Singapore’s regulatory body, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA).

The fines are believed to have stemmed from a wholesale broadband promotion SingTel had offered during the last quarter of 2009. SingTel had apparently breached regulations for competition in the telecommunications sector by offering wholesale discounted prices for its 4 Mbps and 10 Mbps services to only one ISP, while keeping the others in the dark.

The relevant ISPs could include rivals Starhub and M1 as well as SingNet, SingTel’s internet unit. The IDA had started investigations after receiving a complaint from another ISP.

According to a report in The Straits Times, the IDA had fined SingTel S$50,000 for not informing other eligible ISPs of the promotion, an act the IDA deemed ‘discriminatory’.

SingTel was further fined S$80,000, bringing the total to S$130,000, for offering the same wholesale broadband promotion without seeking approval from the IDA, as was required due to its position as the dominant player. While SingTel had informed the IDA of the price changes, the carrier had not indicated that the 4 Mbps and 10 Mbps services formed part of the promotion.

A SingTel spokesperson told the Straits Times that aspects of the wholesale broadband promotion had been left out during the approval seeking process due to a ‘genuine oversight’, adding that SingTel would continue to ‘view and tighten’ its internal processes.

SingTel has paid the fines. The carrier had been warned several times in the past for similar offenses, culminating in a S$20,000 fine in September 2008. The operator had also been fined S$50,000 in July last year by another regulator, Singapore’s Media Development Authority, for a half day outage to its IPTV services in March the same year.

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