Networking for Singapore BTO Flats

This article on “BTO networking” is one of the most popular blog posts on this web site. If you also find this useful, please kindly share this blog post on your Facebook with this button. Thank you πŸ™‚

A few years ago, I wrote about how I set up my home network with the laying of CAT6 cables, RJ45 keystones and patch panels etc. You can read about them here and here πŸ™‚

When I did up my home network at that time, I had to lay CAT6 network cables in casing all over the home and let the renovation contractors lay his cement and flooring over the network.

Networking in Singapore new BTO Flats

But nowadays, it is NOT necessary as many BTO flats come ready with networking inside the new HDB BTO flats!

They are almost ready though as some work are needed to complete the deal.

Recently I have the opportunity of doing up the network for a new BTO (Build to Order) flat in Sengkang/Punggol area in Singapore.

These recent flats actually came with network cables lay all over the home already. Yes, they are already nicely set up for a home network with CAT6 cables. Wow. Impressed with HDB.

The only issue ? The catch ?

Well there are 2 issues:

(1) The network was not laid with data network in mind. It was laid for a telephone network. Every room is cabled up but yet they are all terminated with a telephone jack and not a network RJ45. This is how it looks.

Ancient people like us will know this is for use with our land line telephone. Younger people will go like “huh ?” πŸ™‚

HDB BTO comes with networking already set up
HDB BTO comes with networking already set up

To be fair, there is a data point but only one and it is at the living room area where the TV usually is. This is how it looks. No problem here. But one data point is hardly enough in this age of Netflix, Disney+, HDB Go, Playstation 4, Xbox One etc. Nope. Not enough πŸ™‚

BTO Flat Networking Singapore
HDB BTO comes with networking already set up

(2) The network points end points are housed in an utility cupboard where the fibre optic ONT point is too.. which is great as you can very easily then connect the fibre optic to the network.. Except they are all hidden and not available to use easily.

This is how it looks when it is opened:

BTO Flat Networking Singapore

And to be fair, this is BRILLIANT compared to the older flats. You even have the Fibre Optic internet point already in place and they have thoughtfully placed a power point for your router and even a big enough space for the router to be wall mounted inside.

Basically you are ready to go to have ONE (1) data point at home. Most people will end up using wifi then. But this is such a waste as the whole flat is actually wired up with CAT6 but only 4 wires are used up for telephone. It is a waste. So let’s do something about it.

Upgrading BTO flat network to CAT6 LAN network

So I decided to redo the network to the whole place to be data network ready. To do so, rather than trying to do it myself, I engaged the services of an external company. It is easy to find one nowadays in 2020.

The steps are:

(1) Replaced all telephone points with RJ45 keystones and convert the telephone points to data points.

BTO Flat Networking Singapore
HDB BTO Networking
BTO Flat Networking Singapore
HDB BTO Networking
BTO Flat Networking Singapore
HDB BTO Networking

The sharp eye in you will notice that this is a CAT6 cable but only a few wires are used for the telephone. The rest are just lumped up and kept. So this step is to remove the telephone jack and use up all the 8 wires !

BTO Flat Networking Singapore
HDB BTO Networking

And the face plate:

BTO Flat Networking Singapore

Tata.. I converted all 5 telephone jacks in my 5 room HDB flat to all data points. Dining Room + 3 Bedrooms and yes, even the Bomb Shelter room. HA HA πŸ™‚

BTO Flat Networking Singapore

(2) Next, we worked on the utility box and converted it to a mini network patch panel area πŸ™‚

The trick is to open the top left box where all the cables are kept.

BTO Flat Networking Singapore

The cover.

BTO Flat Networking Singapore

The behind of the cover.

BTO Flat Networking Singapore

What’s behind the box… all the cable ends points ! Currently they are ued as telephone lines now ! We are going to change that !

BTO Flat Networking Singapore

And next we have to pull out the cables and find the RIGHT cables (there are some spare ones). We also need to relocate (moving one of the cable) to the lower right part as he has a faceplate for 4x RJ45 but I have 5 telephone points.

BTO Flat Networking Singapore

So we need to use 4 on the top left and then 1 on the bottom right. You will understand when you read on πŸ™‚

Each cable has to be painstakingly converted to a RJ45 keystone:

BTO Flat Networking Singapore
BTO Flat Networking Singapore

Finally when completed, he did the testing using a network cable tester. His is so much more complicated than mine πŸ™‚

You can get one quite cheaply at Amazon site. For example, try this Jakemy JM-468AL JAKEMY JM-468AL RJ45 RJ11 Network Cable Tester Networking Tool.

It does not matter that you outsourced the work to someone else. I found such tool quite useful for troubleshooting networks later at home and at new condos TOP checking. Many new condos (besides HDB) now also comes with built in networking. In fact, recently, I used it to check how the network set up in a new condo is properly working for a client.

So you are not just buying this for a one time use πŸ™‚

BTO Flat Networking Singapore

Very good piece of mind when saw the testing results ! HAPPY LIKE MAD.

And now it is all done up ! 6 points in all. 6 points in a nicely done patch panel “look alike” πŸ™‚

How does my BTO network look like after the changes

So these are my 6 points:

BTO Flat Networking Singapore

Left top box

1 : dining room
2 : common room 1
3 : common room 2
4 : store room (where I am going to fix a network printer for the whole family to use)

Right bottom top

5 : master bedroom
6 : living room (the original only data network point)

This diagram will make it clearer

HDB BTO cat 6 networking
HDB BTO cat 6 networking

My thoughts on how the BTO networking upgrade went

(1) I think the price is very reasonable compared to all the hard work if I have to do it myself (not to mention, I am not very good at it when I am now older. When I was younger, I did my own networking patching here and here). You can easily find good companies who do such work today. I noticed during key collection time for new HDB BTO flats, flyers are aplenty for such companies too πŸ™‚

However if you want to do it yourself, you can get a tool kit from Amazon or Sim Lim Square shops. And some research on the correct RJ45 set up on the internet will be all that is needed. And oh yes, some nimble fingers πŸ™‚

Pretty photo of pretty LAN Cables
Pretty photo of pretty LAN Cables

(2) Do not use the wireless fibre optic router that will be placed in the utility point. Instead, switch off the wireless of that router and use it only as a router. Why ? Cause the utility cupboard is closed by nature and very far from the bedrooms. So the wifi coverage will be bad. Instead, buy another wireless router (e.g. Like this Asus at Amazon) and use it as a WIRELESS ACCESS POINT (note, not a router.. but as a WAP).

Place that router in one of the bedrooms (preferably the ones in the middle of the house e.g my case it is Common Room 1) and plug a network cable from the “telephone point-become-network point” you have paid to convert into the WAP and ta ta, you get greater coverage πŸ™‚

This diagram will help explain my own layout. From the original patch area near the door, I use the network point at common room 1 to provide the wifi coverage for the whole house.

Wifi coverage for HDB BTO
Wifi coverage for HDB BTO

(3) Consider using the store room as your IT centre … I am going to fix a network printer for the whole family to use.. Some people place their NAS here too.. Like my Synology DS1813+

(4) Do these before the renovation starts (or after you have discussed all your telephone/network needs with your renovation designer.. their carpentry might affect the location of your RJ45 points as well as the painting of the house might want to be take place AFTER you changed the point. Also consider all your networking needs (E.g. which rooms might be your entertainment room, do you need network for your bedroom TVs etc)

(5) Lastly, changing the telephone points DOES NOT make it not possible to use a telephone point ! In fact, it makes it even better. Usually we use a DIGITAL VOICE now and that comes from the router in the utility box. So that means that we can just connect a telephone line from the Router to the exact LAN point where you want the phone line to be. For example, you might want to place the phone in your study room and just plug a phone line from the router to the LAN point stated as “study room” in the utility room. At the other end, in the study room, the LAN point can just plug in a telephone line to the telephone πŸ™‚ But that also means you gave up a LAN point, yes ?

How does my network lay out look in BTO networking

By popular demand, readers are asking how this looks AFTER i set up ? Okie here’s how it looks with the ViewQWest fibre optics set up and cables running to the points:

ViewQWest Fibre to Zhone Router in BTO Flat

Do share with your friends who just bought our most amazing BTO flats :p


  1. David May 1, 2014
  2. Another Chinese May 6, 2014
    • Chinese May 8, 2014
  3. Ace May 7, 2014
    • Chinese May 8, 2014
  4. zac July 2, 2014
    • Chinese July 2, 2014
      • zac July 2, 2014
        • Chinese July 4, 2014
  5. Lee July 11, 2014
    • Chinese July 11, 2014
      • Lee July 12, 2014
        • vanqush April 28, 2015
  6. Joshua August 5, 2014
    • Chinese August 7, 2014
  7. Joshua August 7, 2014
    • Chinese August 8, 2014
  8. bryan August 20, 2014
    • Chinese August 20, 2014
  9. Yas September 19, 2014
    • Chinese September 19, 2014
      • Yas September 19, 2014
        • Chinese September 19, 2014
          • Yas October 29, 2014
  10. Jarod September 24, 2014
    • Chinese September 24, 2014
  11. Jarod September 25, 2014
    • Tom May 22, 2019
  12. Jarod September 25, 2014
  13. bumble bee September 28, 2014
  14. kenshin1984 September 29, 2014
    • Chinese September 30, 2014
      • kenshin1984 October 3, 2014
        • Chinese October 3, 2014
        • kenshin1984 October 3, 2014
          • Chinese October 3, 2014
  15. Mike Wan September 29, 2014
    • Chinese September 30, 2014
  16. Mike Wan September 30, 2014
    • Chinese October 3, 2014
  17. sham October 11, 2014
  18. Ah-Law October 14, 2014
  19. Daniel October 28, 2014
    • vanqush April 28, 2015
  20. Dom July 11, 2015
  21. Ziyang August 11, 2015
    • Chinese August 13, 2015
  22. johnny chai ming feng October 29, 2015
    • Chinese October 29, 2015
  23. Jeff December 21, 2015
    • Chinese December 21, 2015
  24. jenks December 31, 2015
    • Chinese December 31, 2015
  25. nayfus January 18, 2016
    • Chinese January 19, 2016
  26. ahwenah January 21, 2016
  27. Khim May 21, 2016
  28. Adrian Ng May 31, 2016
  29. Chris July 9, 2016
    • Chinese July 9, 2016
  30. Ken July 22, 2016
  31. NSmen September 11, 2016
  32. NSmen September 11, 2016
  33. kui kon jeen September 29, 2016
    • Chinese September 30, 2016
  34. Victor October 16, 2016
    • Chinese October 19, 2016
  35. LYK October 19, 2016
  36. Joseph January 21, 2017
    • Chinese January 21, 2017
  37. Victor March 10, 2017
  38. K May 5, 2017
    • Chinese May 5, 2017
      • K May 5, 2017
        • Chinese May 8, 2017
  39. Ash May 8, 2017
    • Chinese May 8, 2017
      • Ash May 8, 2017
  40. K May 31, 2017
  41. Margaret January 22, 2018
    • Chinese January 22, 2018
  42. Margaret January 22, 2018
  43. Ray February 9, 2018
    • Chinese February 9, 2018
      • Ray February 9, 2018
        • Chinese February 9, 2018
          • Ray February 9, 2018
  44. Cheng December 27, 2018
  45. beowulf May 23, 2019
    • Chinese May 25, 2019
  46. Laion July 10, 2019
    • Chinese July 11, 2019
  47. Hey there August 4, 2019
    • Chinese August 5, 2019
  48. Carrina August 19, 2019
    • Chinese August 19, 2019
      • Carrina August 26, 2019
  49. kaowee June 25, 2020
    • Chinese June 25, 2020
  50. Jaden July 11, 2020
    • Chinese July 15, 2020
  51. Jeffrey September 18, 2020
    • Chinese September 19, 2020
  52. joe December 13, 2020
  53. Sang December 1, 2021
    • Chinese December 1, 2021
      • Sang December 1, 2021
  54. Bench April 4, 2022
    • Chinese April 6, 2022

And Tell me Your Thoughts

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.