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Active Corporate Citizens Respond to Initiatives to Bridge Digital Divide

Corporate citizens in Singapore are partnering the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) on its initiatives to narrow the Digital Divide. Propounding to improve Singaporeans' accessibility to infocomm technology (ICT), these strategic partnerships will facilitate the nation's transition into an infocomm-savvy...

Singapore, 18 October 2000 | For Immediate Release

Corporate citizens in Singapore are partnering the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) on its initiatives to narrow the Digital Divide. Propounding to improve Singaporeans' accessibility to infocomm technology (ICT), these strategic partnerships will facilitate the nation's transition into an infocomm-savvy society and enable every citizen to reap the benefits of an e-lifestyle.

Microsoft Singapore, Intel, SingTel, Speednames, Lexmark and SGNIC are the first active corporate citizens to enter this partnership with IDA. Collectively, the six have committed S$3.12 million1 towards IDA's initiatives to bridge the Digital Divide, specifically in reaching out to needy households and late ICT adopters.

Ms Yong Ying-I, IDA's Chief Executive Officer, said, "We have always believed in embarking on strategic partnerships in our dot-com people initiatives. It is an approach that works. Industry and community involvement in the planning and implementation, as well as the creation of specific programmes, is crucial to this collaboration."

She added, "Although PC ownership and Internet penetration rates have been rising, we would like to invite corporate organisations to play an active role in addressing the concerns of the Digital Divide by improving access for all. We hope that more corporate bodies will follow the example set by these first six partners and play a more active role in improving accessibility for all."

Home PC ownership and Internet penetration has reached 59% and 42%2 respectively in Singapore.

Presently, there are Internet access points in selected community centres / clubs and libraries, located island-wide. These clubs and libraries offer Internet access at a nominal fee to enable non-PC owners / non-Internet subscribers to surf the Web, search for information, communicate online and participate in Web-based activities.

Corporate citizens can partner IDA on initiatives such as the PC Reuse Scheme, and the Easy PC Plan. The partnership opportunities range from the donation of hardware (such as used or new PCs, printers, etc.) and software, to the provision of Internet access and support services.

Microsoft Singapore, Intel, SingTel, Speednames, Lexmark and SGNIC are delighted to enter into this partnership with IDA.

Microsoft Singapore's Managing Director Saw Key Wye said while everyone knows IT is important to welfare organisations, meeting the fundamental needs of their clients must have first call on an organisation's funds. It is therefore crucial for private companies like Microsoft to bridge this gap.

"All of our community outreach programmes are geared to closing the digital divide and this IDA initiative is such a perfect match for us that we wanted to support it all the way. To do that we have doubled our total outreach contribution last year to S$2 million for this one programme alone," he added.

Ian Drew, Country Manager, Intel Technology Asia, said, "As a key industry leader and technology enabler to the Internet economy, Intel believes firmly in supporting Singapore's tech generation by broadening access to technology, and providing the tools to open up new ways of learning to the young."

"As Internet adoption continues to explode here, we want to help needy students to 'get connected' onto the Internet, so they can gain access to online educational opportunities. We are pleased to play a part in helping the IDA achieve its objective of narrowing the Digital Divide in Singapore," he shared.

Mr Lucas Chow, SingTel's Executive Vice President of Consumer Business, said, "The Internet is fast becoming an integral part of Singaporeans' lifestyle. Everyone should be given an opportunity to experience the Internet and benefit from its rich content and capabilities. However, there may be some who need a little more assistance to get on the bandwagon."

Mr Chow added,"We think that this community effort to help these families is timely. SingTel is glad to be able to help kick-start this group's journey into the world of the Net and email which is essential in this new age economy."

Mr. Mickey Beyer Clausen, Co-founder, and Vice President of Business Development, Speednames, said that the company's contribution to IDA's initiative is part of its goal to highlight the importance of digital identity management, through strategic contribution to the local Internet scene.

"As Singapore takes bold steps to develop itself into an ICT Hub and create an environment conducive for e-lifestyle, we want to ensure that Singaporeans are equipped to experience the full benefits of the Internet. Rapid developments in e-commerce and online information sharing services have brought about security implications that make digital identity increasingly critical. Speednames is totally committed in enabling more Singaporeans to build in the role of digital identity management and protection in their e-lifestyles," said Mr. Beyer Clausen.

"Lexmark is proud to have joined with IDA in their campaign to bridge the digital divide in Singapore. Our participation in this project demonstrates Lexmark's commitment to the community in the area of IT development as well as access to technology for all," said Paul Kwa, General Manager, Lexmark International (Singapore) Pte Ltd, Asean.

Ea Iv Chhay, Acting General Manager of SGNIC, expressed, "SGNIC is in full support of making infocomm technology more affordable and accessible to Singaporeans. We hope that our gesture in ensuring affordability in our services would encourage other service providers to follow suit and play their part in narrowing the Divide."

IDA has set aside S$13 million to improve accessibility over the next three years. This programme is one of the five thrusts announced earlier this year to dot-com the people sector.


Notes to Editor:

1 Additional details are attached below.

2 Source: NCB IT Household Survey 1999

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, visit

For clarifications, please contact:

Mr Vincent Phua
Fleishman Hillard International Communications (for IDA)
Tel: 339-1066 ext.59; 97900-698;

Ms Prasanna Nair
Fleishman Hillard International Communications (for IDA)
Tel: 339-1066 ext.47


Ms Frances Neo
Manager, e-Lifestyle Marketing, IDA
Tel: 6211-0464

Annex : Fact Sheet: Corporate Citizenship in Action 
Partners Contribution

For partnership that amounts S$1 million and above

1. Microsoft Singapore
  • Sponsoring a range of software (mainly consumer OS & productivity applications)
  • Sponsorship worth: S$2 million

For partnership that ranges from S$500,000 to S$1 million

2. Intel
  • Donation of used PCs and new processors
  • Sponsorship worth: S$500,000
3. SingTel
  • Providing internet access with sponsored toll-charges for:
    1. 2,500 needy families; 6 months access [ max. 15 hours / month / line ]
    2. Additional lines for future projects; 6 months access [max. 100 hrs / month / line]
  • Sponsorship worth: S$500,000

For partnership not exceeding S$499,000

4. Speednames
  • Providing 2,500 e-Ambassadors with personal domain names at a sponsored cost (over three years)
  • Sponsorship worth: S$75,000
5. Lexmark
  • Collecting and refurbishing old printers, and donating new printers to voluntary welfare organisations / charities
  • Sponsorship of additional colour printers for future projects
  • Sponsorship worth: S$30,000
  • Partial sponsorship for 2,500 e-Ambassadors to subscribe to personal domain names
  • Sponsorship worth: S$12,500