Two different sources have pointed me to this extremely interesting press release from Singapore on how they are contracting for their next generation National Broadband Network (NBN).
8. IDA’s findings indicate that a next generation broadband network will
contribute to Singapore’s continued economic success. It is also critical for the Next
Gen NBN to provide effective open access to downstream operators. This will
create a more vibrant and competitive broadband market. As a policy, we have
therefore decided to adopt separation between the different levels of the Next Gen
NBN to achieve effective open access. The RFP to construct the network will
therefore provide for structural separation of the passive network operator from the
downstream operators. If necessary, the government is also prepared to consider
legislation to achieve such effective open access for downstream operators in
the next generation broadband market.
As I've pointed out in the past, the real "natural monopoly" is the right-of-way between individual buildings and network aggregation points. Given the rapid pace at which electronic components are evolving, it makes sense to focus competition there, i.e. the government contracts for a "passive network" a.k.a. "dark fiber" and makes that available to any ISP or enterprise (or potentially any individual) that wants network connectivity.
Structural separation has been discussed in many contexts and many countries, but frequently with the wrong point chosen for that separation. Given the chart above, it's clear that just above the "dark fiber" layer is the only place that makes sense.
Singapore knows what they are doing here!