Becoming digitally connected: What holds people back?

For lower-income families, sometimes fear gets in the way, on top of cost concerns.

Poverty-related factors inhibit people from being more enthusiastic about joining the digital bandwagon. PHOTO: ST FILE
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What's in a phone bill? To most of us it may be nothing more than your regular mobile phone and Wi-Fi subscription fee. But to middle-aged cleaner Madam Yeo (not her real name), her phone bill spelt anguish, anxiety and a painful record of family strife.

Unlike the usual monthly $100, her bill for August was an alarming $800 plus. Because her home Internet access was subsidised by the Home Access Plan (for eligible Singaporean households with a gross monthly income of less than $1,900) and her daughter had mistakenly signed on to a three-year mobile rather than fibre broadband plan, access speeds lagged when everyone was online at the same time. Changing the plan would incur a huge penalty.

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