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Launch of Internet Home

Mr Wong Kan Seng, Minister for Home Affairs and Member of Parliament for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC Speech - Launch of Internet Home

Mr Wong Kan Seng, Minister for Home Affairs and Member of Parliament for Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC
Speech - Launch of Internet Home
Singapore, 12 October 2000


1. Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. I am happy to launch Singapore's first Internet Home right here at Bishan. The conversion of a 4-room HDB flat into an Internet Home presents the possibilities of integrating infocomm technology into the homes of Singaporeans.

The Vision of E-Lifestyle; And the Benefits to Singaporeans

2. This Internet Home will enable us to show Singaporeans what is the meaning of an e-lifestyle. It gives us an opportunity to see how the benefits of infocomm technology can be translated to everyday living, be it at home, work or play.

3. The Internet Home at Bishan has 3 main features:

a) First, there is a high-speed connection from a local area network within the home to a community server. This fully integrated home network allows family members to share resources like PCs, printer and scanner and it can be accessed from any room in the flat.

b) The second feature is a home automation system that is seamlessly integrated with the Internet. This allows the residents to control their home appliances from anywhere so long as they are online. They can access their TV, audio, lights and security systems all through a single interface via the Internet.

c) Thirdly with a high-speed connection, the residents can access online community services from the Town Council and their neighbourhood medical clinic as well as services on Singapore ONE.

4. With this Internet Home concept, the industry partners and the government will gather feedback from the residents on:

a) The benefits and realities of living in a fully-connected home;

b) The hard and soft infrastructure required to provide an integrated environment for an Internet-based intelligent home; and

c) How the government can work with the industry to provide more of such products and services and make them available for more homes.

The Benefits of the e-Lifestyle to Singaporeans

5. The potential benefits of bringing infocomm technology to the homes are many:

a) Firstly, residents can have access to interactive community services through high-speed connection where they can transact, communicate and connect to the outside world - all from the comfort of their homes. This will allow residents to book town council facilities for special events, top up their grocery online when the supply is running low and enjoy online entertainment-on-demand when they are at home.

b) Secondly, with a concept like the Internet Home, it will allow residents to be in touch with their home anywhere, any time. Working parents can have video-conferencing facilities in their home to look in on their children when they are at work or monitor their homes when they are travelling.

c) Thirdly, the potential of being always-on and plugged in will mean that working adults can tele-commute from their homes. With a high speed connection, video-conferencing and voice-over IP facilities, one need not stay late in the office just to make that overseas call and work from home to spend more time with the family.

Making This A Reality for All

6. Moving on from this proof-of-concept, IDA will work with the key sponsors to get feedback from the residents. IDA will then work with the industry to develop new services and product offerings for more homes. These homes will serve as the nucleus of an ecosystem that generate the demand and development of more services and applications.

7. The target will be for more homes to be part of this ecosystem, including the aged and multi-racial families with children of different ages. These will serve as a guiding principle for the industry to develop relevant applications and services for the different target audience and homes.

8. In addition, IDA will also work with HDB to identify the various hard infrastructure requirements and explore the viability of incorporating these into new homes in the future.


9. Finally, I am pleased to say that with today's launch, we know that the Internet Home can become a reality. It will not be an easy task to bring these benefits to everyone in Singapore. There will be challenges ahead. These include the different technology standards available today; development of more compelling community services; and the issue of digital divide. This Internet Home at Bishan is a small step in an exciting journey towards our vision.

10. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the generous couple, Raymond and Ashley Tang, for allowing the project team to modify their home. I am sure they will look forward to an exciting and pleasant stay in their Internet Home. My congratulations to them.

11. Thank you.