Telco M1 will be rolling out digital set-top boxes from September to low-income homes under an official assistance scheme. This is to ensure that these homes will keep getting free-to-air TV channels when the nation switches to digital broadcasting by 2020.
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Here is the full statement from the Media Development Authority:
MDA appoints M1 to roll out Digital TV Assistance Scheme
Singapore -The Media Development Authority (MDA) has appointed M1 Limited (M1) to manage the roll-out of its Digital TV Assistance Scheme for low-income households, following the conclusion of an open tender which was conducted from 20 March to 22 April this year. M1 was awarded the tender after a thorough evaluation of all tender submissions, based on the criteria set out, which include price competitiveness, quality of proposals submitted and the profiles of the project teams.
Unveiled by the Minister for Communications and Information Dr Yaacob Ibrahim in February this year, the scheme will help lower income families make the transition to digital television. Eligible households will receive a DVB-T2 set-top box, an indoor antenna and complimentary installation service. As the appointed contractor, M1 will progressively supply and install digital TV equipment for all eligible households and resolve any technical issues pertaining to the equipment and installation over the next two to three years. Eligible households also have the option of self-collection.
Those living in one and two-room HDB rental flats, as well as households which are currently receiving Comcare, SINDA, Mendaki and CDAC assistance will be automatically included under MDA's Digital TV Assistance Scheme. There is no need for these groups to apply for assistance as MDA will be working closely with relevant organisations to reach out to them and they will be notified via letters.
All other households that meet the qualifying criteria may also apply for the Scheme. The DTV Assistance Scheme will be extended to households that meet the following criteria:
a. No Pay-TV subscription or integrated digital television;
b. At least one Singaporean household member; and
i. [for economically active households] Monthly household income of $1,900 and below or Per Capita Income of $600 and below;
ii. [for households with no income] Residence with Annual Value of $13,000 and below.
The Scheme will be launched in September 2014 and more details on the application process will be released closer to the launch date.
Singapore is working with its ASEAN neighbours to coordinate the region's complete transition to digital broadcasting and the subsequent switch-off of analogue TV broadcasts between 2015 and 2020. Digital broadcasting offers viewers an enhanced viewing experience through superior image and sound quality, and frees up scarce radio frequency spectrum for alternative wireless services. Free-to-air broadcaster MediaCorp started transmitting all its seven free-to-air channels digitally in December 2013. Channels 5, 8, Suria and Vasantham are now available in High Definition (HD) while its remaining three channels - Channel NewsAsia, Channel U and okto - are available in Standard Definition and will be upgraded to HD by 2016.
Residents in Bukit Batok were the first to receive digital TV transmission in December 2013. Since then, the digital TV network has been rolled out to Jurong East, Ang Mo Kio and more recently, Clementi and Bukit Timah. Coverage for digital TV signals will be expanded progressively to the rest of Singapore over the next two to three years.
To prepare consumers for the migration to digital TV, MediaCorp has launched a series of print advertorials and TV interstitials from December 2013. Educational videos, digital TV brochures and posters are also available at major retail outlets so that members of the public can learn more about digital TV. MDA will also be working with voluntary welfare organisations (VWOs) on a series of public outreach events to share more information about digital TV with residents throughout the year, targeting the elderly and disabled. For more details on Singapore's transition to digital TV, and how to tune in, visit www.mda.gov.sg/digitaltv.