When Singapore implemented the “circuit breaker” measures on April 7 to stop the community spread of Covid-19, mc.2, a homegrown company retailing smart home furnishings, saw sales plunge 90% between April and June after the showroom was shuttered and non-essential renovation works were prohibited from being carried out.

Those were not the only worries for mc.2’s founder and managing director Wilson Chew. The company’s workers from China were in their hometowns, and some of them could not return to Singapore. His team of installers, made up mainly of Malaysians who commute across the Causeway, were in a similar bind. Before the borders closed, Chew rented flats for them so that they could continue working here. He also set up a makeshift dormitory in his factory to house his other foreign workers, allowing them to continue working even as Singapore battled the early stages of the novel coronavirus outbreak.

More importantly, Chew realised that as a result of the circuit breaker, people were staying at home more and people were using their mobile devices more often. According to StarHub, home broadband traffic on their network grew by over 40% during the circuit breaker period, and also observed that customers were placing greater importance on having high- speed WiFi coverage in their homes to facilitate remote working and studying.

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