20 December 2018
The Info-communications Media Development Authority (“IMDA”) has issued the Code of Practice for Info-Communication Facilities in Buildings 2018 (“COPIF 2018”) which takes effect from 15 December 2019 (“Effective Date”). The issue of COPIF 2018 follows two rounds of public consultation conducted in 2017 and 2018. Since it was published in 2000, COPIF has also been revised in 2008 and 2013. The purpose of COPIF is to ensure that developers or owners of buildings provide adequate space and facilities for telecommunications licensees’ provision of info-communication services.
The key changes under COPIF 2018 are intended to reflect the Telecommunications Act (“Telecoms Act”) amendments introduced in 2017, as well as to keep pace with market and technology developments. In COPIF 2018, IMDA has changed the reference of Mobile Deployment Space to Mobile Installation Space (“MIS”) because various parties have commonly confused the abbreviated references of Mobile Deployment Space, i.e. “MDS”, with the Main Distribution Frame or “MDF”.
The key changes under COPIF 2018 include:
- Designation of rooftops as the preferred location for mobile deployment to serve surrounding areas for enhanced, wider mobile coverage.
- Modification of in-home co-axial cabling to facilitate re-distribution of digital TV signals.
- Additional fibre and data points for new residential buildings to enable faster technology adoption and more varied services in homes.
- Two-way air-blown fibre microducts for new non-residential buildings to enable telecommunications operators’ faster service provisioning to customers.
- New resilience requirements relating to emergency access to space and facilities, and enhancement of networks and service diversity for new buildings housing vital services such as hospitals, ports of entry, data centres, etc.
COPIF 2018 will apply in its entirety to new developments which have obtained the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s (“URA”) provisional or written permission on or after the Effective Date. For existing developments, the requirements as specified in Chapters 1, 2, 16 and 17 of COPIF 2018 will be applicable upon the Effective Date. The accompanying Explanatory Memorandum dated 28 November 2018 (also referred to by IMDA as a cover note) states that existing leasing arrangements between building developers/owners and mobile network operators for the provision of cellular mobile coverage using rooftop spaces within the developments will not be affected by the rooftop mobile installation space provision in COPIF 2018 until the relevant leasing agreements have expired.
IMDA also issued a set of COPIF Guidelines 2018 which takes effect from 15 December 2018.