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Singapore telecoms authority to be given increased access to rooftops

Building owners in Singapore will be forced to give rooftop space and access to telecoms equipment under planned amendments to the Telecommunications Act.08 Aug 2016

In a public consultation document on the industry, the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) proposed giving Singapore's Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) the power to demand rooftop space for mobile deployments on private buildings.

Building owners in Singapore are currently required to provide space and facilities for telecommunications deployments, along with access to that space, but many do not provide rooftop space, the MCI said.

The proposed changes also include prohibiting any exclusive access agreements on these properties. Arrangements have been made in recent years between property owners and telecoms companies that offer deals for the building's occupants. This restricts users' choice of telecoms services, the MCI said.

Singapore's telecommunication customers would also benefit from an independent dispute resolution body, the MCI said.

The MCI has proposed an alternative dispute resolution scheme managed by an independent body. Consumers will be allowed to choose whether to use this body to resolve disputes or to go through the courts or small claims tribunal.

In a public consultation document on the industry, the MCI said it recognised that consumers and businesses’ reliance on telecommunication services has increased significantly over the past few years.

Singapore's IDA and Media Development Authority have put in place "a suite of consumer protection measures to safeguard consumer interests", but consumers are increasingly facing issues "that are more individualised or contractual in nature. Such consumer types could be better served through a dedicated platform", the MCI said.