Coronavirus pandemic

Singtel's care pack: Free TV channels

Singtel also said it had raised $2 million from its staff to help vulnerable groups and healthcare workers.
Singtel also said it had raised $2 million from its staff to help vulnerable groups and healthcare workers.PHOTO: ST FILE

As people spend more of their time at home amid the coronavirus outbreak, Singapore's largest telco is offering three months of free access to some of its television channels for all Singapore residents. These include its Cast streaming app as well as its most popular entertainment and education channels such as Discovery, Asian Food Network, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon.

It is also helping small and medium-sized enterprises that have implemented work-from-home plans or split-team arrangements by giving them six months free usage of productivity, collaboration and security tools.

"The businesses we depend on, the way we live our lives, have been completely upended. People are having to stay home, businesses are trying to cope and survive," said Singtel group chief executive Chua Sock Koong.

"We want to offer up some of our services to sustain and support the public through this time. This is our way of saying we are in this together," she added.

Meanwhile, Singtel's board of directors will take a 10 per cent fee cut for the upcoming financial year in "a show of solidarity".

Earlier this month, Singtel had announced a wage freeze across the company, excepting operational and support staff, as part of its cost-cutting exercise amid weak business sentiment.

Singtel also said it had raised $2 million from its staff to help vulnerable groups and healthcare workers. Management committee members donated half of their monthly salary to the fund - in addition to voluntary contributions from other directors and staff - which the company then matched dollar for dollar.

The sum will be channelled to 18 charities and social enterprises, including the Community Chest.

Community Chest chairman Philip Tan said the contribution was heartening and will "help augment what the Government and social service agencies are doing for those affected by Covid-19".

Also, Singtel TV customers will get free access to 30 channels such as AXN, CNBC, Discovery Asia and KBS World. Its network users can use WhatsApp data-free, and small and medium-sized enterprises that want to set up online shops can do so for free on Singtel's 99sme.sg e-marketplace.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 31, 2020, with the headline 'Singtel's care pack: Free TV channels'. Subscribe