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Singapore has sufficient telco capacity, says IMDA

THE Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) on Friday said that Singapore has sufficient telecommunications capacity to cope with an increased demand.

It said in a Facebook post that nine in 10 Singapore households have fibre networks to their homes, and although network traffic has risen since the start of the Covid-19 crisis, the city-state’s fixed and mobile networks will have the bandwidth to cope with demand.

“We will continue to work with our operators to monitor the situation closely and will take proactive steps to increase network capacity – where necessary – to ensure the continuity of this essential service for Singaporeans,” it said.

The post was essentially a response to Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong, who had said at a nationally televised press conference on Friday that Singapore's infocommunications connectivity was undergirded by the country's National Broadband Network. The press conference had been called to give details of the plan for most workplaces to institute work-from-home arrangements from April 7, with the aim of breaking the chain of transmission of the coronavirus. The exceptions are essential services and key economic sectors, which will operate as normal.

The expected surge in demand for home fibre broadband or mobile network services comes as most people start to work from home. The temporary closure of workplaces is part of a “circuit breaker” effect, to reduce the risk of a big outbreak occurring and to gradually bring Singapore’s numbers down, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong had said in a nationally televised address before the press conference.

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The stricter measures announced on Friday also included the closure of all preschools and student-care centres and a shift to full home-based learning in schools and institutes of higher learning.

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