900 Low-Income Pre-Qualified Households to enjoy Free Home Broadband and Tablets


New IM Bonding Learning Project provides 1-to-1 tutorials for seniors to  kick-start their digital journey


SINGAPORE, 31 MAY 2017 – The Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), together with the support from corporate sponsors 1 , will provide 900 pre-qualified [2] low-income households the opportunity to sign up for home broadband and tablets, at no cost. The other low-income households can also enjoy subsidised home broadband with the option to own a tablet. As part of IMDA’s Digital Inclusion efforts to empower the vulnerable segments with access to technology, the new IM Bonding Learning Project complements the aim by providing 1-to-1 dedicated tutorials for seniors from lowincome households to learn how to use the tablet device and to navigate the Internet. 

The IM Bonding Learning Project is a tripartite collaboration among Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), Lions Befrienders (LB) and POSB, leveraging the respective parties’ area of expertise in the public, people and private domains, to strengthen communities through technology.  

The senior participants at the workshop were those who were keen to learn more about using the tablet and the Internet. With guidance from the staff of POSB, seniors aged between 60s to 80s experienced first-hand the immediacy of technology and how a technology tool and the Internet can bring them closer to loved ones, and bring conveniences to their lives. Senior Minister of State for the Ministry of Communications and Information & Ministry of Education, Dr Janil Puthucheary, attended the session to encourage and recognise the efforts of the seniors who had stepped forward to learn. 

“As IMDA strives towards a digital economy for Singapore, we are also nurturing a digital society where everyone is connected. With the support from partners in the private and community sectors, like POSB and Lions Befrienders, we are able to help more low-income families access the internet and benefit from digital services,” said Mr Tan Kiat How, Chief Executive, IMDA.
The IM Bonding Learning Project comprises eight 3-hour per sessions, and will focus on using technology for social connectedness. Participants from low-income households can now have the chance to try out the tablet, and learn different useful IT skills including basic introduction to the device and Internet, Digital TV, e-Communication, social media, POSB’s Digibank and Paylah! apps, and more. The entire curriculum is spread out over an 8-week learning journey. 

Ms Susan Cheong, Head of POSB said, “As the People’s Bank, POSB has served generations of Singaporeans and together with many of our seniors today, we hold an important role in many of our nation building initiatives. The world is becoming more digital and we want to play our part to ensure that our seniors are not left behind. As we move together towards Singapore’s vision of a digital future, we want to help empower our seniors through this initiative and take full advantage of POSB’s suite of digital banking services so as to enjoy greater convenience.”
The Home Access Programme is part of the Digital Inclusion effort under IMDA. To-date about 8,000 low-income households [3] have benefitted from the programme since 2014. The Home Access Programme targets to benefit another 16,000 low-income families starting from April 2017.   

The qualifying criteria of HA 2.0 are as follows: 
Criteria

First-timer
First Time Broadband Subscriber households 
Income
Monthly Household Income <= $1,900; or Per Capita Income <= $600
Citizenship
Others
At least one member of the household2 is a Singapore Citizen
Household has not benefited from NEU PC Plus or Home Access in the last four years
AND
Does not have a school-going child3

The table illustrates the tiered co-payment amount for different applicants:
Tiers
Household Profile
Co-payment by beneficiaries (inclusive of GST)
With basic device
Without basic device
1
Pre-qualified households who are receiving assistance from MSF’s ComCare Public Assistance Scheme, including households referred by MSF under Short-Medium Term Assistance Scheme 
$7.50
$6.00

2
Qualified households residing in HDB 1-3 Room Units 
$14.50
$9.00

3
Qualified households residing in HDB 4-5 Room Units 
$21.50
$17.30



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