Singapore’s telecoms regulator the Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) is implementing new rules governing the maximum length of time any operator can lock a customer into a contract for fixed, mobile or broadband services. From March 2010, any consumer wishing to renew or sign up to a new contract for any of the above will not be locked into the contract for more than 24 months. Also from March next year, anyone signing a contract term longer than three months
and who end their contract before the end of the contract period will no longer have to pay a fixed early termination charge. Instead the IDA is putting in place new rules under which the consumer will see these charges decreased on a month-by-month basis as they serve out their contract. The IDA hopes the new rules will ensure that industry practices in the city-state are more reasonable and fair, and have been prompted by users’ concerns that contract lengths risk becoming too long and early termination charges excessively high.