Low income households can apply for fibre broadband plan at $6 a month

Low income households can apply for fibre broadband plan at $6 a month

SINGAPORE - Households with income of less than $1,900, do not have school-going children and have at least one Singapore citizen are able to apply for 100Mbps fibre broadband connectivity and a tablet at a subsidised rate of $6 per month. This is part of the Home Access Programme developed by the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) that is expected to benefit 8,000 households over the next four years.

Through the programme, eligible households will be able to enjoy telecommunications company M1's 100Mbps fibre broadband service, and will also receive an Internet router and a 7-inch Alcatel tablet, for only $6 a month (inclusive of GST) over a 2-year contract.

Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, gave more details on the programme, at the MCI Workplan Seminar on April 9, 2015. He first announced the Home Access programme in 2014 where he said the programme would draw on the $10 million Digital Inclusion Fund. Supported by the National Council of Social Service (NCSS), the programme is open for direct applications from all eligible households since April 1,2015.

The Home Access programme is developed by IDA and administered in partnership with community organisations and companies to ensure that everyone can enjoy connectivity and live a digital lifestyle. The five self-help groups namely the Association for Muslim Professionals, Chinese Development Assistance Council, Singapore Indian Development Association, Eurasian Association and Yayasan MENDAKI, will help to process applications. Home Access brochures and applications forms are available at all community clubs and Ministry of Social and Family Development's (MSF) Social Service Offices.

In addition, M1, which has been appointed by IDA as its broadband service provider for the Home Access programme, will conduct free regular training workshops for the beneficiaries. The workshops starting in June 2015 will help the beneficiaries learn how to use their tablets and email. RSVP Singapore - The Organisations of Senior Volunteers is also conducting training sessions for senior beneficiaries of Home Access, in the month of May.

Ms Jacqueline Poh, Managing Director of the IDA, said, "In Singapore, no one should be left behind by the march of technology. IT usage often begins at home, so the Home Access programme will help lower-income households without Internet access to get connected to high-speed fibre broadband. It complements the NEU PC Plus programme which helps school-going children from lower-income households enjoy broadband connectivity and own a personal computer. Whether it is for video conferencing, surfing the internet or simply maintaining contact with family and friends on social media, these Digital Inclusion initiatives are designed to help all groups to live, learn, play and feel included in a digitally connected Smart Nation."

candicec@sph.com.sg

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