S$30m boost for broadband adoption in Singapore

The Info-communications Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is investing S$30 million over the next two years to speed up the pace of adoption and innovation of broadband applications and services here.

The Info-communications Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) is investing S$30 million over the next two years to speed up the pace of adoption and innovation of broadband applications and services here.

SINGAPORE--Announcing this, Minister of State for Communications and IT Lim Swee Say revealed that the investment, which will go on until the end of 2002, will be carried out through three new initiatives. These are the home environment initiative, work environment initiative, and learning environment initiative.

The home environment initiative aims to help content players to co-license or develop high-quality broadband content and services for home users.

In addition, IDA will facilitate pilots and trials of convergent products and services for home users. These include home-networking, small office home office (SOHO)--which caters to small and home-based businesses and professionals--and other new media devices that will make use of the broadband infrastructure in Singapore. Lim was speaking at IDA's FastTrack seminar series titled "Hooked on Broadband 2001".

Corporate users will be encouraged to deploy broadband access at the workplace. IDA will also work with management solutions providers and broadband access service providers to speed up the utilization of services such as telecommuting and broadband portals.

To promote broadband and e-learning in schools and learning institutions, there is the FastTrack@School program, which seeks to develop broadband education content by encouraging partnership between schools and education service providers.

According to Lim, there are currently 40 schools participating in the FastTrack@School scheme. He did not elaborate. However, he said that the number of broadband users here "will reach, or even exceed 400,000 by the end of the year".

IDA did not give details as to how the money would be spent among the three initiatives.

There are six broadband access providers on the island at present, with more than 300,000 users, over 300 broadband industry players, and 200 broadband applications and services.

IDA added that a broadband channel guide will be launched in June for industry players here to promote their content and services. A broadband industry directory will also be published with a listing of all broadband industry players in the Republic.

"This will enable companies which are interested in adopting broadband to locate the relevant service providers more easily," Lim said. "It can also be a useful reference for broadband players to find complementary partners."

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