MCI response to PQ on Subsidised Home Broadband Internet Connectivity for Low Income Households
Parliament Sitting on 14 February 2022
QUESTION FOR WRITTEN ANSWER
74. Dr Tan Wu Meng To ask the Minister for Communications and Information regarding subsidised home broadband internet connectivity for low-income households (a) from 2020 to 2021, in how many cases were IMDA’s documentation of approval issued via (i) hardcopy letter (ii) digital document and (iii) both hardcopy and digital; (b) as of December 2021, how many participating Internet Service Providers required such hardcopy letter by IMDA to be provided by the applicant; and (c) what is being done to streamline application and activation processes.
Over 11,000 low-income households have been supported with subsidised broadband since IMDA’s Home Access 3.0 programme was launched in April 2020. Since then, the application process has been streamlined to remove the need for applicants to submit supporting documents such as copies of applicants’ NRIC and income documents.
Applications can be made virtually or via hardcopy application forms. In addition, all applicants may check their application and approval status on the online application platform, which requires a SingPass login. All successful applicants are also provided with hardcopy approval letters as an added form of approval confirmation.
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) require documentation of approval to verify successful applications before activating broadband services. This information is available to ISPs through IMDA’s online system. Of the two participating ISPs, one, MyRepublic, offers applicants the option of activating the broadband service remotely by calling a hotline. The other ISP, M1, required successful applicants to present a hard copy letter of approval at their stores. This has since been removed, and M1 will also be providing call-in as an additional channel for successful applicants to activate their services from March 2022.