IMDA is reviewing its rules on display panels, which are increasingly common in public places such as HDB estates

Digital display panels such as this might be subject to revised rules in future, IMDA said on the same day that HDB announced plans to install 6,000 screens across its estates island-wide.
Business Insider/Jessica Lin

Singapore’s government is reviewing existing rules regarding digital display panels in public spaces, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) said hours after the housing board (HDB) announced plans to roll out 6,000 of the screens across HDB estates island-wide.

These digital display panels (or DDPs) have become “prevalent”, IMDA said on Wednesday (Oct 30), adding that “many operate on a distribution network similar to broadcast media”.

While DDPs are already regulated, IMDA said in a statement that it plans to review existing rules to strengthen content standards since the screens, including those in public housing estates, have wide public reach and impact.

New rules may also require DPPs to display public service messages, as with other broadcast media, IMDA said.

An industry-wide consultation from November 8 to 22 will be conducted to gather views on the regulations surrounding the use of these panels.

Panels installed in HDB estates will display mostly non-commercial messages

On Wednesday morning, HDB had also announced plans to install some 6,000 DDPs across HDB estates in support of Singapore’s Smart Nation drive.

A tender was launched on the same day to call for the installation, operation and management of these panels.

At the moment, several Town Council (TCs) across Singapore already have DDPs installed and running at various HDB common areas, such as lifts and lift lobbies.

HDB said its pilot roll-out will build on the initiative by aggregating demand across different estates for greater economies of scale.

Installed at HDB lift lobbies on the ground floor and inside some residential lifts, the screens will have a rolling display of news and information from government agencies, community organisations and advertisers. However, commercial advertisements will be capped at 30 per cent of total screen time.

“The content could range from local notices on estate happenings and events, to nationwide updates on emergencies and public health advisories,” HDB said.

These DDPs are meant to complement existing traditional notice boards, which have space restrictions and require manual updating.

“With the provision of DDPs, content can be seamlessly refreshed so that residents can be kept updated on important messages as well as the latest happenings within their estates,” HDB said.

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