MCI response to PQ on Wireless SG hotspots for HDB rental blocks to ensure Internet connectivity
Parliament Sitting on 5 October 2020
QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
44. Mr Leon Perera: To ask the Minister for Communications and Information whether Wireless@SG hotspots can be rolled out for HDB rental blocks to ensure a minimum level of Internet connectivity for residents who may not be able to afford the subsidised plans with Home Access 3.0 programmes.
The Government is committed to equipping all Singaporeans with a baseline of affordable digital access. Compared to deploying Wireless@SG at HDB rental blocks, the Home Access scheme is a more targeted and practical solution that provides internet connectivity to lower-income households in their homes. Wireless@SG supplements this with free out-of-home connectivity at public sites with high human traffic, such as transport nodes and community facilities such as community centres, libraries, and hawker centres.
Under the Home Access scheme, all households residing in HDB rental units are eligible for a heavily subsidised broadband subscription at $9/month, which is about 70% less than comparable commercial plans. For households with ComCare recipients, the out-of-pocket expense could be even lower, at $6/month. Broadband is also provided for free to households with school-going children or persons with disabilities who are beneficiaries of the NEU PC Plus programme. Low-income households can apply to IMDA for these schemes.
Low-income households may approach MSF’s Social Service Offices (SSOs) to apply for ComCare. If they require home broadband, the SSOs can help with their application for the Home Access scheme and, if needed, provide additional financial assistance for a basic broadband plan.