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Helping Singaporeans Go Online

Over the next 3 years, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) will take an intensive and targetted approach to help Singaporeans go onli...

Singapore, 1 March 2000 | For Immediate Release

1 Over the next 3 years, the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) will take an intensive and targetted approach to help Singaporeans go online. This was announced today by the Minister for Communications and Information Technology, Mr Yeo Cheow Tong, at the launch of eCelebrations Singapore. A total of S$25 million has been set aside to support the 3-year culture promotion initiative spearheaded by the IDA. Under this initiative, IDA will undertake several programmes in phases to target low-income households, different ethnic groups and the late adopters of infocomm technology. These programmes are aimed to raise their awareness about how infocomm technology can enhance their quality of life.

Programmes to Improve Accessibility

2 Help will be extended to 30,000 low-income households with a combined income of less than $2,000 each. IDA will equip these families with used computers bundled with free Internet access and some basic training. This will be done through the community self-help groups such as the Chinese Development Assistance Council (CDAC), the Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA), Mendaki, and the Eurasian Association.

3 To encourage active industry participation, IDA will seek tax incentives for vendors and e-service providers that donate equipment, professional services and Internet access to the community through civic organisations.

4 Basic public infrastructure will be enhanced by the provision of free broadband access to the Singapore ONE clubs at community centres. IDA will also work with other government agencies such as the Housing Development Board (HDB) and private sector property developers to facilitate the deployment of public infrastructure for Internet access, for example, Internet kiosks; and infrastructure that supports e-Commerce fulfillment, for example, locked boxes to hold deliveries.

Programmes to Bridge the Language Barrier

5 IDA will work with industry and community groups to develop relevant content in different languages to cater to different population segments. We will sustain the promotion of the National Chinese Internet programme and elevate the ongoing community Malay and Tamil Internet initiatives to national levels. Incentives will be provided for the development of useful applications and relevant content to bridge the language barrier and generate interest in infocomm among all Singaporeans.

Programmes to Motivate Widespread Adoption of an e-lifestyle

6 Beginning 1 March 2000, e-Celebrations Singapore, a month-long public outreach programme, aims to get everyone to go online. The interactive and experiential activities will raise awareness of how infocomm technology can change people's lifestyles and prepare Singaporeans for the technological challenges ahead. For the inaugural year, a total of 27 events have been organised to reach out to both individuals and businesses, urging all to get connected and reap the benefits of online services.

7 The e-Ambassadors programme aims to recruit 2,500 volunteers amongst early adopters of infocomm technology to guide late adopters in their use of infocomm services and applications at the ONE Learning Place, Singapore ONE clubs and public libraries. The e-Ambassadors will be recruited from community groups such as the People Association's Youth Movement (PAYM), the Retired & Senior Volunteer Programme (RSVP) and the Parents Advisory Group for the Internet (PAGi). IDA will provide funding for skills certification training and accord the e-Ambassadors due recognition for their volunteer services.

e-Shopping and e-Transactions

8 IDA will initiate virtual shopping malls where online shoppers can buy basic necessities like groceries, lifestyle items such as music, movies and games, and services like on-line tuition. The aim is attract 200,000 shoppers to shop online. To further encourage merchants to get their customers to adopt online shopping, tax incentives will be explored with the relevant government agencies. IDA's efforts will be focused on building consumers' confidence in online shopping. For a start, TRUSTe, the online privacy seal pogramme will be made an industry 'trustmark' seal.

9 "For Singapore to realise the vision of an Information Society, a broad-based movement by multiple players and groups in society is required. While IDA can support and complement the movement, it will not be able to develop a vibrant Information Society on its own. Getting people and industry involved in the process of transformation is important. It is the active and committed Singaporean who will make the difference," said Ms Yong Ying-I, Chief Executive Officer of IDA.

10 The initiatives announced today by Minster Yeo to help Singaporeans go online, is the second in a series of recommendations under the Infocomm21 Masterplan. The first announcement made in January 2000, was on the liberalisation of the telecommunications market. The Infocomm21 Masterplan contains a series of initiatives by the government to develop and establish Singapore as a key global info-communications centre.


About Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore

The Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is a dynamic organisation with an integrated perspective to developing, promoting and regulating info-communications in Singapore. In the fast-changing and converging spheres of telecommunications, information and media technologies, IDA will be the catalyst for change and growth in Singapore's evolution into a vibrant global info-communications technology centre. For more information, please visit

For media clarification, please contact:

Dulcie Chan (MS)
Manager, Corporate Communication
Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore
Tel: 322 1999
Fax: 779 5340