NetLink Trust, the owner and operator of Singapore’s core fibre broadband infrastructure, is playing its part to support programmes that bridge the digital divide in Singapore. As the country pushes ahead with its Smart Nation vision, there is a growing need to increase access to technology and use technology to improve lives.

Driven by this belief, NetLink Trust will sponsor part of the costs of the Info-communications Media Development Authority of Singapore’s (IMDA) Home Access Programme that was rolled out earlier this year to provide low-income households with Internet access. Effective from 3 October 2015 and working with M1, NetLink Trust will subsidise the cost for a basic computing device and two years of fibre broadband connectivity. This means that fibre broadband will be free for 400 end-users from low income households, who would otherwise have to pay $6 every month.

Mr Ng Yong Hwee, CEO of NetLink Trust said: “This is our first year as an integrated entity and it is important for us to give back in a way that is close to our hearts. NetLink Trust is pleased to be able to contribute in a small way to ensure that more Singaporeans – particularly those who need it most – are able to reap the benefits of a connected society.”

“As the Home Access Programme’s appointed service provider, M1 is committed to helping more families enjoy the benefits of fibre broadband. NetLink Trust’s support for the programme will make an impact on the low-income families that need this essential service, and we will work closely with NetLink Trust to close Singapore’s digital divide,” said Mr Willis Sim, Chief Product Development & Corporate Solutions Officer, M1.

NetLink Trust has also renewed its support for a tele-health project by the National University Hospital (NUH) which uses fibre broadband to enable remote monitoring and therapy for stroke patients. So far, the programme has assisted over 2,000 patients in their recovery. While the first phase of the programme focused on mobility and strengthening exercises for stroke patients, with a stronger fibre broadband connection, doctors can explore maintenance-related or community exercises to promote healthy ageing.

Previously available at Singapore General Hospital and Ang Mo Kio-Thye Hua Kwan Hospital, the programme has been extended to include Changi General Hospital and three centres under the Singapore Anti-Tuberculosis Association. NetLink Trust will continue to waive the installation and monthly recurring charges for these rehabilitation centres as well as a number of Housing Development Board home fibre connections.

“As technology brings profound transformations to Singapore, NetLink Trust will continue to support initiatives that realise the country’s Smart Nation vision in a more inclusive way. These includes programmes in smart health, smart living and smart mobility,” added Mr Ng.