Did MyRepublic co-founder make a mistake by calling out Australia's NBN?

By Uwear

Singaporean internet start-up MyRepublic is looking to become one of Telstra’s biggest rivals soon in Australia.

The company will offer Aussies unlimited broadband high-speed internet using fibre-only technology at a low price after recently expanding to New Zealand and Indonesia. Co-founder Malcolm Rodrigues said MyRepublic is currently in the process of putting together an Australian team and anticipates on launching its services by the middle of 2016.

RELATED TOPIC: The Future of the NBN in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane

The result could be a shake-up of the entire broadband market. The company already has a staff of about 9000 people who are working to launch one of the largest infrastructure projects in Australia, with an ultimate goal of servicing every home and business in the country by 2020.

MyRepublic intends on implementing its services with an unlimited 100 megabit per second offer at about $80-90 per month, while Telstra’s service doesn’t include unlimited downloads and charges customers about $135 per month.

Rodrigues says MyRepublic is making customer satisfaction its top priority, which sets it apart from others in the industry.

RELATED TOPIC: How Telstra's Deal for NBN Helped Establish A Shareholder Reinvestment Plan

“We philosophically believe that we are an access provider that’s better than everybody else,” Rodrigues said. “The reason we started a company is that we believe in a new way of life coming.”

In addition to criticising the use of fibre-to-the-node technology (FTTN), which the Coalition government ordered after taking over the project from the previous Labor government, Rodrigues also said MyRepublic will deliver speeds of 100 megabites per second and compared it to being much faster than Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN).

The company has transformed the broadband market in Singapore despite having a small budget. However, MyRepublic will find it a little more difficult to find its place in the Australian market due to industry consolidation, which has created a market dominated by four main telco companies.

RELATED TOPIC: Telstra Options $1 Billion Buyback for Shareholders, First in 8 Years

Telstra already controls about 50 per cent of the broadband market, while TPG is merging with iiNet to become the nation’s second-largest internet supplier.

Although Rodrigues has already questioned Australia’s NBN on several occasions, even calling it “shit” at one point, tech industry analysts believe every ISP will have to work with the NBN and the government to deliver services in Australia. It has also been reported that the government is attempted to double the workforce of its NBN operation.

“It’s not a great start to go out and criticise the wholesale provider and government,” said Telsyte’s Foad Fadaghi. “To get maximum reach they will need to buy at least some services off NBN—rolling out their own national FTTN network to compete everywhere against NBA is unlikely.”

The question now is if Rodrigues’ verbal outburst will eventually backfire.

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