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Singapore Ready for Multimedia Age

Singapore ONE, Singapore's nation-wide broadband infrastructure for multimedia applications and services, celebrates the first anniversary of its commercial launch this month. Singapore ONE is the result of Singapore's continuing effort ...

Singapore, 22 June 1999 | For Immediate Release

Singapore ONE, Singapore's nation-wide broadband infrastructure for multimedia applications and services, celebrates the first anniversary of its commercial launch this month. Singapore ONE is the result of Singapore's continuing effort to explore emerging technology trends and to exploit the opportunities early. It reflects Singapore's forward planning in investing in cutting-edge technology and infrastructure well ahead of demand. Singapore is the first country in the world with nation-wide broadband access.

Mr Michael Yap, Chief Executive, National Computer Board (NCB) said, "The roll-out of Singapore ONE is on track. The foundation is now well in place for the entire nation to use Singapore ONE. The development of Singapore ONE has placed Singapore at the forefront of new broadband technology developments. Further, we are beginning to see many applications bringing improvements to the way we work and learn."

Near Island-wide Access

Today, 98% of all homes in Singapore can get connections to Singapore ONE. Singapore ONE is available in all schools, five tertiary institutions, about half of all public libraries as well as many community centres throughout Singapore. There are also some 200 public kiosks located along Orchard Road, in shopping malls, town centres and other public places, which are connected to Singapore ONE.

Bringing Everyone Along

The number of users has grown steadily, from 10,000 a year ago to over 60,000 today. This growth is expected to take off as Singapore ONE moves into a new phase to attract a critical mass of mainstream users.

To further drive subscription and usage, the NCB, SingTel Magix and Temasek Polytechnic (TP) have jointly launched a new scheme to offer TP students Singapore ONE subscription at an attractive rate of $10 per month for the first year. This rate is comparable to normal Internet dial-up subscriptions. To promote usage Temasek Polytechnic will also make its courseware and other teaching resources available on Singapore ONE. The NCB is working with other institutions of learning to extend the scheme.

Last year, the NCB and its partners conducted mass training events such as ONE Camp for students and parents and Surf @ Stadium for businesses and members of the public. Together, some 15,000 people were trained to use Singapore ONE. Building on this momentum, the NCB with the support of the National Library Board (NLB) launched in May this year, a permanent Singapore ONE training centre called ONE Learning Place. The centre has an aggressive target of training 100,000 in the first 18 months.

With the various initiatives in place, Singapore ONE is well placed to achieve its target of 100,000 users by the end of 1999, and 400,000 by the end of 2001.

Extending Beyond Singapore

To further expand market reach and consumer base, the NCB has been actively promoting the multimedia-rich contents of Singapore ONE to the rest of the world. For a start, the NCB has just launched FastAsia, a new site that offers selected Singapore ONE multimedia content to North American users. FastAsia is hosted on the @Home network, a California-based cable Internet service provider with some 500,000 subscribers.

Applications Deployed

The number of new applications and services has also built up steadily. Today, more than 200 multinationals and local companies are already actively using Singapore ONE to deliver interactive, multimedia applications and services. Sixty new applications were launched in the last year, bringing the total number on Singapore ONE to 170. These cover many wide-ranging interests, from leisure and entertainment to health information, government and business services, shopping, banking and education.

Singapore ONE's infrastructure has reached a state of maturity after two years of development, in terms of stability and quality of service. Businesses are beginning to use Singapore ONE, and innovative applications are emerging that will help push this user base. Today, Singapore ONE launched its four latest business-to-business applications. They are:

- BusinessMEET - a broadband multi-party video conferencing service that enables business subscribers to rent virtual conference rooms;

- 3-D on ONE - an application that allows companies to test, purchase and download 3-D computer-aided design software and game-based learning products;

- VRcomms - an online exhibition site with electronic commerce functionality; and

- Electrical I-Nets - an online store for mechanical & electrical (M&E) products featuring a high-resolution virtual showroom and a database of product specifications, technical descriptions and CAD drawings in editable format.

To drive the use of Singapore ONE among businesses, the NCB is working with its partners on various initiatives including creating new services, new network offerings and enhanced quality of service that meets the requirements of businesses. For example, from mid July this year, SingTel will introduce a new service to enable small and medium-sized companies to connect their in-house local area networks (LANs) to its Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) network to access Singapore ONE services.

The NCB is also encouraging new technologies in the areas of video conferencing, video helpdesk services, and other business-to-business online support systems. With Singapore ONE's broadband capabilities, businesses will be able to benefit from such "services on demand", for example, software applications, which can be delivered on demand over the network. This could bring about tremendous productivity gains and cost savings.

As an Ideal Test-bed

With its near island-wide reach and fast-growing number of users, Singapore ONE is well positioned as the ideal test-bed for multimedia applications development. Local and international companies are encouraged to make use of the Singapore ONE infrastructure to experiment and create innovative broadband services and products.

About Singapore ONE

Singapore ONE was commercially launched in 1998. It comprises a broadband infrastructure that provides high-speed, interactive, and multimedia applications and services for users. Developed by both MNCs and innovative Singaporean companies, Singapore ONE's services are designed to appeal to users of all ages and occupations, as well as businesses.

Singapore ONE has the full support of the Singapore government, and is driven by the National Computer Board, the National Science & Technology Board, the Telecommunication Authority of Singapore, the Economic Development Board and the Singapore Broadcasting Authority.

Annex A: Singapore One: New Business-to-Business Applications Launched at Communicasia '99 on 22 June 1999

BusinessMEET is the first commercially available broadband multi-party video-conferencing service on Singapore ONE. This service provides business subscribers private virtual conference rooms where they can hold virtual meetings. BusinessMEET service is based on CUSeeME and MeetingPoint multiparty video conferencing solutions from WhitePine Software Inc.

Contact Person:
Joyce Choo
Tel: 226 0338
Fax: 226 6800

Think3 deploys 3-D computer-aided design (CAD) software over the Singapore ONE network. This service enables users to download and evaluate design software and game-based learning program before making the decision to purchase the software. As the design software are usually huge in file size, the broadband capability of Singapore ONE is the most suitable platform to deploy such a service.

Contact Person:
Terence Chan
Tel: 450 4268
Fax: 454 3766

VRcomms has been designed to provide businesses in the Info-communications industry a convenient and cost effective way of establishing contact with potential buyers and partners worldwide. It is the first online virtual exhibition in the South East Asia.

Contact Person:
Ms Lee Wai Ling
Marketing Communication Manager
Singapore Exhibition Services Pte Ltd
Tel: 433 9611
Fax: 339 9507

Electrical I-nets
Electrical I-nets is a portal for Mechanical & Electrical (M&E) products with e-commerce capability. It features a high-resolution virtual showroom and a database of product specifications, technical descriptions, and CAD drawings in editable format.

Contact Person:
Deborah Lai
Tel: 745 7333
Fax: 742 7333